Erin DeNardo

Erin is an veterinary student at UPenn (Class of ‘26). Prior to coming to PennVet, Erin worked as a consultant/analyst doing extensive market research for pharmaceutical and medical technology products. She also completed her Master’s degree at Yale University in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, where she used computational methods to study bacterial cell growth. Erin has used a variety command-line and statistical tools for her work, including R, Matlab, Python, SQL, and Stata.

Arnav Lal

Arnav is an undergraduate at UPenn (Class of ‘23) who came to us through the Galapagos Education and Research Alliance (GERA). In the Summer of 2022 he joined others in our lab on a research trip to San Cristobol, Galapagos, where he was key in helping to develop portable sequencing methods to monitor natural water sources for potential pathogens. Arnav is currently using computational tools to analyze the data he generated. After he graduates from UPenn, he plans to being a dual MD/PhD program.

Stephanie Sila

Stephanie joined the lab in June 2022, the summer after her first year as a veterinary student at PennVet. Steph was instrumental in starting of first microbiome study in little brown bats, where she is currently combining metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data to understand factors taht impact the outcome of P. destructans infection, the fungal pathogen responsible for White Nose Syndrome, a disease that has devastated the bat populations in the U.S.

Jessica DiStefano

Jessica joined the lab in June 2022, the summer after her first year as a veterinary student at PennVet. She started and continues work on one of our largest microbiome experiments to date – a longitudinal study of the developing microbiome in piglets and their birthing environment.

Lisa Mattei

Lisa joined the lab in early 2022 as part of our new Institute for Infectious and Zoonotic Diseases (IIZD). She comes to us from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she established and directed the CHOP Microbiome Center’s sequencing core. She got her PhD in the laboratory of Akiko Iwasaki at Yale University, and she did her postdoc in the Molecular Diagnostics Lab at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Ekram Ibrahim

Ekram joined the lab in early 2022 as an undergraduate Health and Societies major (premed) and has been working on a project that uses metagenomics and longitudinal sampling to identify sources of early colonizers of the infant gut.

Sanya Mehta

Sanya spent the summer of 2021 working in the lab on collaborative project that examined the microbiome in dogs with immune mediated disease.

Luke Kazmierski

Luke is a rising second year veterinary student at PennVet and is spending the summer of 2021 in the lab as an NIH/Boehringer Ingelheim (NIH-BI) Summer Research fellow. His project focuses on evaluating functional properties of bile acid-producing clostridia.

Leah Soderman

Leah completed her veterinary degree at Kansas State University and is currently an internal medicine resident at PennVet. Although Leah spends the majority of her time in the clinic, she will be working periodically in the lab to develop a residency research project focused on using portable QPCR technology (Biomeme, Inc.) to develop assays for measuring gut dysbiosis in client-owned dogs.

Ann Blevins

Ann completed her Ph.D. and postdoc in the laboratory of Danielle Bassett at UPenn, where she used network theory to address questions in cognitive neuroscience. Ann’s role on the team is to advance data analysis and visualization methods for our microbiomeDB project, and she works closely with the larger VEuPathDB team that is our partner in this effort.

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