METX Graduate Program Alumni

Recent graduate Pam Lertsethtakarn, her mother, and Prof. Karen Ottemann, her Ph.D. advisor

2017

Jaime Hernandez (Ph.D. with Chad Saltikov)

Ph.D. Dissertation: Investigating the ecology and molecular genetics of anoxygenic photosynthetic arsenite oxidation

2016

Samar Abedrabbo (Ph.D. with Karen Ottemann)

Ph.D. Dissertation: Characterizing the Role of the Coupling Proteins CheV1 and CheW in Helicobacter pylori Chemotaxis 

Currently Lecturer at Diablo Valley College. Dr. Abedrabbo's Linked In page

Emma Hiolski (Ph.D. with Don Smith)

Ph.D. Dissertation: Neurological Impacts of Prolonged Asymptomatic Exposure to the Marine Neurotoxin Domoic Acid.

Currently in the UCSC Science Communication Program. Follow Dr. Hiolski's Tweets and check out her web page.

2015

Andrew Cheng (Ph.D. with Fitnat Yildiz)

Ph.D. Dissertation: Systematic Analysis of Two-Component Signal Transduction Systems in Vibrio cholerae Biofilm Formation and Virulence

Currently Senior Scientist at Whole Biome, Inc. Dr. Cheng's Linked In page

Miles Duncan (Ph.D. with Victoria Auerbuch Stone)

PhD Dissertation: Disarming and Sensing the Bacterial Type III Secretion System

Currently Postdoctoral Fellow at Tufts University with Prof. Andrew Camilli. Dr. Duncan's Linked In page 

Anna Lepore (M.S. with Manel Camps)

M.S .Thesis: Characterization of evolution of ALKBH2 in tumors.

Currently a Tutor and Clinical Information Manager in New York. Anna LePore's Linked In page. 

Loni Townsley (Ph.D. with Fitnat Yildiz)

Ph.D. Dissertation: The Role of Temperature in the Environmental Survival and Transmission of Vibrio cholerae

Currently Postdoctoral Fellow at Univ. of North Carolina Chapel Hill with Prof. Elizabeth Shank. Dr. Townsley's Linked In Page

2014

William Sause (Ph.D. with Karen Ottemann)

Ph.D. Dissertation: The Helicobacter pylori protein ImaA modulates the immune response and promotes chronic infection

Currently Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University with Prof. Victor Torres. Dr. Sause's Linked In page 

Walter Adams (Ph.D. with Victoria Auerbuch Stone)

Ph.D. Dissertation: The Translocator Protein YopD in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis: A Tool and a Weapon

Currently Postdoctoral Fellow at Tufts University in Prof. John Leong's lab. Dr. Adams's Linked In page. 

Alison Conrad (M.S. with Chad Saltikov)

M.S. Thesis: The Arx Anaerobic Arsenite-Oxidation Pathway is Conserved in Halomonas and Ectothiorhodospira Strains Isolated from Big Soda Lake, Nevada

Kingsley Odigie (Ph.D. with Russ Flegal)

Ph.D. Dissertation: Pyrogenic Remobilzation and Transport of Toxic Metals

Currently UC Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Riverside. Check out Dr. Odigie's web page. 

Cheryl Zurbrick (Ph.D. with Russ Flegal)

Ph.D. Dissertation: Asian Anthropogenic Lead Contamination in the North Pacific Ocean as Evidenced by Stable Lead Isotopic Compositions

Currently Director of Lab Safety and Operations at Northeastern University. See Dr. Zurbrick's Linked In page

2013

Laura Kwuan (M.S. with Victoria Auerbuch Stone)

MS Thesis: Characterization of the transcription factor IscR in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

Currently a QC Associate II at Genentech. See Laura Kwuan's Linked In page. 

Juan Castellon (M.S. with Karen Ottemann)

MS Thesis: CheV1 Leads the Organization of Chemotaxis Signal Transductions Proteins in Helicobacter Pylori

Currently in Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI) with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), USDA

Christopher Troll (Ph.D. with Manel Camps)

PhD Dissertation: DNA Damage, Repair & Replication Using E. Coli Model Systems

Currently a Research Scientist at Dovetail Genomics. See Dr. Chistopher Troll's Linked In page

2012

Rachel Eastman (M.S. with Don Smith)

MS Thesis: Hair as a biomarker for Environmental Maganese Exposure

First position as Emerging Contaminants Intern at San Francisco Estuary Institute

Melisa Masuda (M.S. with Don Smith)

MS Thesis: GPP130 is a Sensitive and Selective Cellurlar Target of Magnanese Exposure

First position in Genentec

Currently an Associate Scientist at Gilead Sciences

2011

Lisa Sanders (M.S. with Karen Ottemann)

MS Thesis: Characterization of the Helicobacter pylori metal motility response

First position in Microbiology & Quality Associates, Inc., Microbiology Technician

Currently a Senior Public Health Microbiologist in the Immunology department for Contra Costa County

Pam Lertsethtakarn (Ph.D. with Karen Ottemann)

PhD Dissertation: Characterization of the Helicobacter pylori CheZ, CheV1, CheV2, and CheV3 chemotaxis signal transduction proteins

Currently a Scientist, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS-USAMC), Bangkok, Thailand

Carolina Reyes (Ph.D. with Chad Saltikov)

PhD Dissertation: Genetic investigations of the iron and arsenic reduction pathways of the bacterium Shewanella sp. str. ANA-3

First position as a Post-doc, Friedrich Lab, Microbial Ecophysiology, University of Bremen, Germany

Nicholas Shikuma (Ph.D. with Fitnat Yildiz)

PhD Dissertation: Environmental Signals and Regulatory Networks Controlling Biofilm Formation and Motility in Vibrio Cholerae

First position as a Post-doc, Dianne Newman Lab, Cal Tech

Currently an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University. See Dr. Nicholas Shikuma's Linked In page and Dr. Shikuma's lab

2010

Kivanc Bilecen (Ph.D. with Fitnat Yildiz)

PhD Dissertation: Environmental regulation of biofilm formation in Vibrio cholerae

First position as a Manager, NanoBio Technology R&D Operations, Turkey

Jeanie Ramos (Ph.D. with Chad Saltikov)

MS Thesis: Chromium transformation pathways in Shewanella sp. ANA03

First position as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist Assistant, UCSC

Kamrun Zargar (Ph.D. with Chad Saltikov)

PhD Dissertation: Molecular genetics and physiology of arsenic transforming bacteria

First position as a Post-Doctoral Scientist at The Joint BioEnergy Institute, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Currently a Research Scientist at Radiant Genomics. See Dr. Kamrun Zargar's Linked In page

2009

Cynthia Kern (Ph.D. with Don Smith)

PhD Dissertation: Neurotoxicity of neonatal manganese exposure

First position in Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Early Life History, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Grove, CA

Currently a Research Scientist at NOAA Fisheries. See Dr. Cynthia Kern's Linked In page

Mary Langsner (Ph.D. with Russ Flegal)

PhD Dissertation: Discovery of first indications of multidrug resistance in a teleost embryo, using the model organism zebrafish (Danio rerio)

First position as a Law Student, Boyd School of Law

Currently a Judicial Law Clerk. See Dr. Mary Langsner's Linked In page

2008

Sinem Beyhan (Ph.D. with Fitnat Yildiz)

PhD Dissertation: c-di-CMP signaling in Vibrio cholerae: The link between rugosity, biofilm formation and motility

First position as a Post-doctoral scholar, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco

Currently an Assistant Professor at J. Craig Venter institute. See Dr. Sinem Beyhan's Linked In page

Frank Black (Ph.D. with Russ Flegal)

PhD Dissertation: Methods for investigating the complexation of inorganic mercury, and factors controlling the photo-degredation of monomethyl mercury in natural waters

First position on a Fulbright Scholarship, 2009 and Postdoctoral Scholar.

Currently Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Westminster College, Utah. See Dr. Black's Research Gate page. 

Tom Jursa (M.S. with Don Smith)

MS Thesis: Ceruloplasmin mediates the tissue deposition and neurotoxicity of manganese

Currently a Staff Researcher, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, UCSC. See Tom Jursa's Linked In page

2007

Allison Luengen (Ph.D. with Russ Flegal)

PhD Dissertation: Investigating the spring bloom in San Francisco Bay: Links between water chemistry, metal cycling, mercury speciation, and phytoplanton community composition

Currently an Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco. See Dr. Allison Luengen's Linked In page

2006

Kate Chabarek (M.S. with Zhiwu Zhu/Ted Holman)

MS Thesis: Regulation of copper-binding transcription factor Mac1 by PHO85 in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

First position as an Editor at Lore Editorial (grant writer)

Currently a Project Manager, University of Basque Country. See Kate Chabarek's Linked In page

2005

Molly Church (M.S. with Russ Flegal)

MS Thesis: Sources of lead exposure in California condors

First position as a Veterinary Pathology Residency, UC Davis

Currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvannia. See Dr. Church's Linked In page

Christopher Conaway (Ph.D. with Russ Flegal)

PhD Dissertation: Sources, transport, and fate of mercury in San Francisco Estuary and tributaries

First position as a Mendenhall Scholar, USGS Pacific Science Center; Affiliated Researcher, Institute of Marine Sciences, UCSC

Currently: Research Chemist at USGS. See Dr. Conaway's Linked In Page

Daniel Crooks (M.S. with Don Smith)

MS Thesis: Manganese targets m-aconitase and iron regulation in GABAergic AF5 cells

First position as a Pre-Doctoral Fellow; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Section on Human Iron Metabolism, NIH

Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow, NIH

Xiaoli Shi (M.S. with Zhiwu Zhu)

PhD Dissertation:The roles of copper and iron homeostasis in cell biology

First position as an Independent Database Analyst/Reporting Engineer

Currently a Data Analyst, Athena Health

2004

John Flanders (M.S. with Russ Flegal)

MS Thesis: The effect of organic and inorganic ligands on the bioavailability, uptake, and methylation of inorganic mercury by Desulfobulbus propionicus 1pr3

First postion as a Staff Scientist, Ecology & Environment, Inc.; Project Scientist, URS Corp.

Ana Gonzalez (M.S. with Russ Flegal)

MS Thesis: Natural occurrence of hexavalent chromium in the Aromas Red Sands Aquifer, California

First postion as a Project Geologist and Geochemist at AMEC Environment & Infrastructure UK Limited

Charlie Rankin (M.S. with Russ Flegal)

MS Thesis: Case studies in sources of lead contamination: Chocolate and the Hudson River Estuary

Mara Ranville (Ph.D. with Russ Flegal)

PhD Dissertation: Anthropogenic perturbations of trace metal cycling in California and the North Pacific Ocean

First position as an Independent Environmental Consultant

Currently a Scientific Editor, Researcher, and Writer. Dr. Ranville's Linked In Page 

2002

Joshua Sheridan (M.S. with Don Smith)

MS Thesis: Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) as a novel therapeutic chelating agent to reduce tissue lead levels

First position as an MD, Jefferson University; Residency in emergency medicine, Loma Linda Medical Center; ER Physician, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Antioch, California

Currently a Medical Directory, CEP America. See Joshua Sheridan's Linked In page

Yongxing Wang (M.S. with Zhiwu Zhu)

MS Thesis: Biochemical studies of copper ion sensing