Past Instructors - 2022 Program


  • Amelia McKitterick

    Postdoctoral Fellow - Bernhardt Lab

    I am interested in understanding how phages interact with their host bacteria to gain control during infection, and how this knowledge can teach us about the special ways different bacteria grow and divide. I think through studying phages, we can ask big picture questions about bacterial and pathogen evolution as well as microbial community dynamics that can teach us more about the larger world around us. I am also passionate about sharing my love of research with others and can’t wait to spread the joy of lab work to a new set of researchers.


  • Siân Owen

    Postdoctoral Fellow - Baym Lab

    I believe that phages are the secret puppet masters of the bacterial world, shaping the lives of bacteria in inconceivably broad-ranging ways. My research focuses on how phages can rapidly alter bacterial biology and drive their evolution in interesting directions. I am passionate about communicating the joys of phage research, and make it my personal mission to “infect” as many people as possible.


  • Natalia Quinones-Olvera

    Graduate Student - Baym Lab

    I study mobile genetic elements in bacteria, with a combination of bioinformatics and wet lab methods. I’m particularly interested in the conflicts between conjugative plasmids and bacteriophages, and in isolating interesting phages that help us understand these conflicts. Coding is an essential part of my research, but it is also one of my hobbies! Computers are incredibly powerful and flexible, and I love that you can do anything with them, from studying new phages, to creating art.


  • Kate Hummels

    Postdoctoral Fellow - Bernhardt Lab

    I am fascinated by the diversity and complexity of the microbial world. I find the ability of these “simple” microorganisms to reliably grow and even thrive in a variety of environments both remarkable and inspiring. My current research is focused on understanding how bacteria coordinate the expansion of their multi-layered cell envelope, allowing for consistent growth and division. When I’m not working at the bench, you might find me exploring the outdoors, solving a jigsaw puzzle, or playing with clay.


  • Thomas McCabe Bartlett

    Postdoctoral Fellow - Bernhardt & Rudner Labs

    Much like a wave passes through water or a flame burns a candle wick, life is better understood as a phenomenon passing through matter than as a collection of animated objects. The dynamic processes that allow life, growth, and procreation are generally deadly if they are misregulated (i.e., when they occur in the wrong time or place). My goal is to understand how the most basic and fundamental processes of life - cell growth, cell division, cell separation, and related processes - spontaneously organize to allow life to flourish. Also, I began my scientific career in a community college setting, and helping expose community college students to research experience is an important part of my personal mission as an academic scientist.