asm2013 Mentoring Breakfast Mentor Biographies

Minority Mentoring Breakfast Mentor Biographies

Tuesday, May 21st | 8:00 – 10:00 | Centennial Room | Hyatt Regency Denver

Jeff Alder     Table 1: Careers in Industry

Senior Director | Global Clinical Development Primary Care | Bayer HealthCare | Pine Brook, NJ 


My specialization is anti-bacterial research and development in the pharmaceutical industry. This has included all stages, from target identification and screening, chemistry, microbiology, preclinical pharmacology, and clinical development through approval. I am willing to mentor with any scientist who would like to work on relevant issues related to infectious diseases.


Esther Babady, Ph.D., D (ABMM)    Table 5: Alternative Career Tracks

Assistant Attending Microbiologist, Department of Laboratory Medicine | Assistant Director, Microbiology Service | Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center | New York, NY


Current Affiliation: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine

Discipline: Clinical Microbiology

Area of interest: Diagnosis of Infectious diseases and Rapid Molecular Diagnostics Methods.

Kind of mentees: Graduate students


Joan Balada    Table 5: Alternative Career Tracks

Jian Bao     Table 10: Bench Research to Administration

Quest Diagnostics Nicholas Institute | Chantilly, VA


My name is Jian Bao, affiliated with Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute located in Chantilly, Virginia. My scientific interests include mycology and molecular microbiology.


Paul D. Brown, PhD     Table 12: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study

Senior Lecturer, Department of Basic Medical Sciences | University of the West Indies at Mona | Kingston , Jamaica


Over 15 years as a Medical Microbiologist/researcher, with ten years of experience in academia (teaching Microbiology and Molecular Biology). Interfaces with Clinical Microbiology and Pathology departments for a 600-bed tertiary care hospital and reference laboratory in Jamaica for diagnosis of leptospirosis. Involved in mentoring and supervising several undergraduate and graduate students. Research interests in the areas of molecular diagnosis, epidemiology and pathology of leptospirosis, antibiotic resistance and molecular pathogenesis of various bacteria of public health importance (including MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli).


Romy Chakraborty     Table 11: Bench Research to Administration

Scientist | Ecology Department, Earth Sciences Division |Lawrence Berkeley National Lab


Dr Romy Chakraborty is a Research Scientist in Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Her background is in anaerobic microbial physiology and microbial ecology. Her current area of research includes Bioremediation, Plant-microbe interactions, Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies in environmental microorganisms among others. 


Mamie T. Coats, PhD     Table 9: Graduate Student to Tenure Track

Alabama State University, Montgomery AL


My areas of interest include: bacterial pathogenesis, biofilms, animal models of diseases.

Most useful to undergraduates considering entering directly into doctoral programs but willing to work with all.



Wayne A. Duffus, MD, PhD     Table 4: Careers in Government

Associate Director for Health Equity | Centers for Disease Control National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) | Atlanta, GA


In this role, Dr. Duffus is responsible for promoting health equity efforts across NCHHSTP by increasing collaboration and advancing the scientific agenda across the Center.


Previously, Dr. Duffus was the Medical Director of the STD/HIV Division and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program Pharmacy in the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) for 8 years and was an infectious disease physician at the SCDHEC STD clinic for 10 years. In addition, Dr. Duffus served as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Infectious Diseases Division at the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine and had patient care responsibilities in the Ryan White clinic. He has also been an Adjunct Associate Professor in the USC Arnold School of Public Health.


Lorraine A. Findlay, Ph.D.,ASCP       Table 13: Alternative Career Tracks

Director, Laboratory Sciences Core Area & Professor, Medical Microbiology, Medical Technology, and Anatomy & Physiology  Department of Allied Health Sciences | Nassau Community College/University Medical Center


I have been teaching Anatomy & Physiology and Medical Microbiology for more than 20 years. I wear many hats; I am also a professor of Medical Technology. I have worked: as Director of Microbiology in a clinical microbiology lab in a hospital; as a director of Microbiology for a pharmaceutical company; in my early career, as a research scientist. I have a Ph.D. in Microbiology; my M.S. is in Marine Microbiology.


Dr Sue Fisher-Hoch     Table 14: Undergraduate to Graduate

UT Health School of Public Health| Brownsville, TX


Dr. Fisher-Hoch has many years’ experience in infectious diseases and epidemiology, particularly viral hemorrhagic fevers, and worked for many years at the CDC.  She has worked and lived in Africa, Europe and Asia, particularly  South Asia where she still has ongoing projects looking at the interface of diabetes and tuberculosis and hepatitis C.  In the last 12 years she has developed a cohort of Mexican Americans in whom we study diabetes and obesity.   She has more than 170 publications and is currently Professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health


Omai B Garner, PhD, D(ABMM)     Table 15: Clinical Career Track Transitions

Assistant Clinical Professor | Associate Director, Clinical Microbiology | Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine | UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine | Los Angeles, CA


My name is Omai Garner. I   an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA I serve as the Associate Director of Clinical Microbiology for the UCLA Health System. I   interested in rapid diagnostics for microbiology. I would be useful to academic post-doctoral mentees interested in a switch to clinical medicine. I would also be useful to graduate students interested in clinical careers.


William A. Glover II Ph.D., D(ABMM), MT(ASCP)     Table 12: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study

Microbiology Supervisor | Reference, Enterics, Food & Parasitology Labs | Washington State Public Health Laboratories | Shoreline, WA


Dr. Glover received his PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2010. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical and Public Health Microbiology Directorship at the University of Washington Medical Center in 2012. He is a Diplomat of the erican Board of Medical Microbiology. Recently, he accepted a position as the Microbiology Supervisor of the Reference, Enterics, Food, and Parasitology laboratories at the Washington State Public Health Laboratories. His research has focused on enhanced surveillance methods for Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Washington State.  


Fawzy Hashem, Ph. D.     Table 6: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study

Associate Professor | University of Maryland Eastern Shore | Princess Anne, MD


Areas of Scientific interest:  Environmental microbiology, Microbial food safety of fresh produce, Bioremediation, Soil and Water quality, Biological nitrogen fixation, Plant-microbe interaction.


Martin G. Klotz, PhD     Table 9: Graduate to Tenure Track

Professor & Chair, Department of Biology | University of North Carolina |  Charlotte, NC


My name is Martin G. Klotz, I earned a PhD in 1986 in Jena Germany, worked since 1991 in the US at institutions including Univ. of MD-College Park, Utah State University and Univ. of Colorado-Denver but stayed the longest at the Univ. of Louisville (198-2011). I am presently Professor and Chair of Biology at UNC Charlotte and in this capacity responsible for recruitment, promotion and tenure in my Department. I have been mentoring a great diversity of students as undergraduates, Masters and Doctoral Students, most of the grad students being female, and several with ethnic backgrounds from underrepresented groups in the Sciences.  My last PhD graduate was African-American and she won an award for her dissertation from the Univ. of Louisville. Since coming to Charlotte, I have hired 3 new faculty (2 women) and chaperoned two colleagues to promotions and tenure and one towards re-appointment. Professionally,  I am active in the field of Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology (was the instigator of AEM's like-named section), served as an officer for Division R (2002-5) and on the ASM Council (2005-7). I am a co-leader of an international professional organization dedicated to the (Micro)biology of the nitrogen cycle (http://mgkmicro>). 


Bereneice Madison       Table 7: Clinical Career Track Transitions


Mark McCallum, Ph.D.       Table 13: Alternative Career Tracks

Interim Dean, Arts and Sciences | Professor of Biology | Pfeiffer University

Dr. Mark McCallum, Professor of Biology at Pfeiffer University currently serves as Interim Dean for the Division of Liberal Arts and Sciences.   While at Pfeiffer University, Dr. McCallum has served as Dean of the School of Natural Sciences from 2006 to 2012, chair of the Departments of Biology, and served two years as Chair, of the Pfeiffer University Faculty Senate.  He maintains an active undergraduate research program with current students in his laboratory engaged in isolating and molecularly characterizing bacteriophages of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia from the environment. I would be most useful for students/post-docs interested in a predominantly undergraduate institution and who perhaps have an interest in academic administration.


R.J.C. (Bob) McLean     Table 6: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study

Dept. Biology | Texas State University | San Marcos, TX


Bob McLean is originally from Canada and received his undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph in 1978. After working for 4 years in the food industry, he did his PhD with JW Costerton at the University of Calgary from 1982-86, and returned to Guelph for a postdoc with Terry Beveridge from 1986-88. Bob's first academic position at Queen's University was the Canadian equivalent of a Research Assistant Professor. In 1993, he and his family moved to Texas and Bob started in a tenure-track position at Texas State University. He received tenure, rose through the ranks, and was promoted to Associate and then Full Professor. He is now a Regents' Professor.


Bob's real passion in microbiology is promoting the growth of the discipline and success of the next generation of microbiologists.


Quincy C . Moore III, Ph.D.     Table 10: Bench Research to Administration

Assistant Professor of Biology | Prairie View A & M University. 

Area of scientific interest include Bacterial Ocular Pathogenesis and the Host Innate Immune Response. 



Kimberlee A. Musser, Ph.D.     Table 3: Careers in Government

Chief of Bacterial Diseases | New York State Department of Health | Wadsworth Center | Albany, NY


My name is Kimberlee Musser, PhD and I am the Chief of Bacterial Diseases at the New York State Department of Health's laboratory, Wadsworth Center.  My interests include public health bacteriology including foodborne and hospital associated outbreak investigations as well as molecular assay development, validation and utilization.  I have mentored many CDC/APHL Emerging Infectious Diseases fellows as well as postdocs, MPH and other student interns.  My experience in a state public health laboratory may be valuable to those interested in infectious diseases but considering alternative career paths such as public health laboratory science.


Cheryl Okumura     Table 8: Undergraduate to Graduate

Assistant Professor of Biology | Occidental College | La Jolla, CA

General areas of interest: host-pathogen interactions, microbiology, cell biology

Specific area of interest: Interactions between Gr-positive bacteria and the host innate immune system

Probably most helpful for undergraduate and graduate students, but can also provide perspective to postdocs interested in pursuing positions at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs).


David Oliver     Table 1: Careers in Industry

Manager, Product Development | Response Biomedical | Vancouver, Canada


Dr. David Oliver obtained a B.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia.  His doctoral studies focused on molecular aspects of bacterial pathogenesis, specifically the mechanism of autotransporter secretion in Gram negative bacteria.  David followed on with post doctoral studies as a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Fellow at Simon Fraser University in the field of x-ray crystallography.  In 2009, he joined Response Biomedical Corporation in Vancouver, BC.  Response Biomedical manufactures and develops point-of-care immunoassay tests for the rapid detection of analytes, including cardiac biomarkers, environmental agents, biowarfare agents, and infectious diseases.  David is currently manager of Product Development at Response Biomedical.


Salina Parveen, Ph.D.     Table 8: Undergraduate to Graduate


Associate Professor | Food Science and Technology Ph.D. Program |Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences | University of Maryland Eastern Shore | Princess Anne, MD

Beatriz Quiñones, Ph.D.     Table 3: Careers in Government

U.S. Department of Agriculture/ARS | Western Regional Research Center | Produce Safety and Microbiology Unit | Albany, CA


My name is Dr. Beatriz Quiñones and I am a Research Molecular Biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture/ARS, Western Regional Research Center, Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit in Albany, California.  My research interested focus on the development of rapid microarray methods for detection and characterization of bacterial foodborne pathogens, such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Cpylobacter.  I also work on the development of cell-based assay to characterize bacterial toxicity.  


Michael G. Schmidt, Ph.D.     Table 9: Graduate Student to Tenure Track

Director | Office of Special Programs and Professor and Vice Chair | Department of Microbiology and Immunology | Medical University of South Carolina | Charleston, SC 


Michael Schmidt is a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at MUSC.  Has worked on many different aspects of microbiology having published on HIV-to the microbiology of whole plant corn silage.  Each of his past research experiences have well prepared for him for his activities on TWiM.  


Louise D. Teel, Ph.D.     Table 4: Careers in Government

Associate Professor | Microbiology and Immunology | Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Bethesda, MD


I currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, which is the ONLY Federally-run medical school in the country. We offer free medical education to individuals who join the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Public Health Service (in exchange for a post-graduate service obligation).  We also offer graduate education to BOTH military and civilian candidates (without a service obligation) in the areas of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Molecular and Cell Biology.  My role is as a teacher and mentor to graduate students in the area of bacterial pathogenesis  and my research interests are in Shiga toxin-producing  E. coli, Bacillus anthracis and bacterial and plant toxins. I also responsible for teaching and curriculum development in the School of Medicine. I believe I could best mentor undergraduates who are seeking graduate education in science or medicine especially within the field of emerging infectious diseases and geographic medicine.  I also feel that I could guide graduate students and post-docs who are interested in the many federal labs (including the Military, the FDA, and the USDA) that make up the scientific community in the Greater Washington DC area.


Stacy Townsend, PhD.     Table 2: Careers in Industry

Synedgen, Inc. | Vice President of Research | Claremont, CA.


My ne is Stacy Townsend and my current position at Synedgen, Inc. is Vice President of Research. I have 10 years of academic research experience with bacterial host-pathogen interactions at both the molecular and cellular level. Past research focused on molecular expression of virulence factors in Salmonella gastrointestinal disease, the pathogenesis of neonatal bacterial meningitis, and the host response to bacteria that survive macrophage phagocytosis. More recent experience over the last 6 years has focused on antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and wound healing studies in support of the development of novel therapies in a biotechnology laboratory setting.  I think I would be most helpful to graduate students and post-docs looking for a career in industry.



Paul E. Turner     Table 12: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study

Chair of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology |Yale University |New Haven, CT 


Paul Turner received his Ph.D. in 1995 from the Center for Microbial Ecology, at Michigan State University. He did postdoctoral study at the National Institutes of Health, University of Valencia in Spain, and University of Maryland, College Park. In 2001, he joined the Yale faculty in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a primary research focus on microbial evolution, especially viruses as model systems to study mechanisms of evolutionary change. Since 2011, Turner has served as Departmental Chair of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He extensively mentors scientists at various career stages, including high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdocs and junior faculty members.

Rob Vega     Table 15: Clinical Career Track Transitions

Manager, General Microbiology | Oregon State Public Health Laboratory


Prior to coming to work for Public Health, I worked as a clinical microbiologist in a number of hospitals, ranging from 100 – 500 beds. I am also an adjunct professor of Biology at Portland State University, where I teach pathogenic bacteriology course to seniors and grad students.


Gary Vanzin     Table 2: Careers in Industry

Director of Research | Luca Technologies | Golden, CO


My name is Gary Vanzin, I'm currently the director of research at Luca Technologies, a hybrid oil and gas/biotechnology company in Golden, Colorado.  My higher education degree is in biochemistry from the University of Connecticut, where I studied plant cell wall synthesis in Arabidopsis.  From there I went to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado for a post-doc studying hydrogen production by photosynthetic bacteria.  For the past nine years I've worked in industry evaluating the potential to stimulate microorganisms in the subsurface to consume hydrocarbons and generate natural gas a sustainable energy source.  My areas of expertise include environmental microbiology, biodegradation, microbial physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology.   I feel like the mentee I'd be most useful to is the type that debates whether academia or industry is the right career path for them; I can lay out many of the pros/cons of both, and from nine years of industry experience help guide career paths.


Hayley Webber, Ph.D     Table 7: Clinical Career Track Transitions

Technical Director | Molecular Diagnostics | NorDx Laboratory |Scarborough, ME


My ne is Hayley Webber and I am the Technical Director of Molecular at NorDx Lab in Scarborough, Maine.   I have been working in a Clinical Lab for seven years and have been in this position for three. My undergraduate degree is in biochemistry and my graduate degree is in molecular and cellular biology. I have developed a number of homebrew molecular tests and am interested in new molecular technologies.


Ying Zhang     Table 14: Undergraduate to Graduate

Postdoctoral Scholar | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Woods Hole, MA 

Ying Zhang is a postdoc investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This September, she will start as an Assistant Professor in the College of the Environmental and Life Sciences at University of Rhode Island. Her research interest is in using combined computational modeling to simulate the connectivity, dynamics, and evolution of microorganisms. She will be helpful for students who want to initiate career development plans, especially those who want to pursue their career in interdisciplinary research. Her email address is yingzhang-AT-whoi-DOT-edu.