UMC Bios

asm2012 Mentoring Breakfast

The following mentors will be available at the Mentoring Breakfast on Tuesday, June 19th from 8:00 am – 10:00 am at the Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate Room A

Diane Adger-Johnson—Undergraduate Student to Graduate School
Diane Adger-Johnson is the Minority Health and Research Training Program Manager in the Office of Special Populations and Research Training (OSPRT) in the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Her current position encompasses minority health and health disparities, policies on issues impacting minorities, research training, science education, and outreach coordination for the institute. Past research area of emphasis included parasitology and infectious diseases. Most research work focused on the molecular biology, vaccine development, humoral and cellular mechanism, and pathogenesis of Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

Jeff Alder—Careers in Industry
Jeff Alder is the senior director global clinical development, anti-infective, development at Bayer. Previously, he ran drug discovery and pharmacology groups in the pharmaceutical industry. Students considering a career in drug discovery, applied medicine (also called translational medicine) or clinical development of new drugs would be a good fit. This applies to those who would start out in the lab, or those who want to move directly into oversight roles. Also, students interested in international research, and the feel of working conducting research and development in Europe or China might find the table interesting. Wade Aldous—Careers in Government Dr. Aldous is a lieutenant colonel on active duty in the US Army and is a board certified clinical microbiologist. He has been in the Army for 18 years with various assignments located in Tacoma, WA, Landstuhl, Germany (twice), Salt Lake City, UT, Baghdad, Iraq and now San Antonio, TX. His jobs were in research, clinical microbiology, and teaching. Currently, he works at both the Army Medical Department Center and School and the tri-services Medical Education Training Campus teaching microbiology. He can provide information about serving in the military and also discuss clinical issues.

Hazel Barton—Alternative Career Tracks
Hazel Barton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Akron. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Gerald A. Capraro—Alternative Career Tracks Dr. Capraro is the Medical Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. He also serves as the Louisiana state representative to the Southwestern Association of Clinical Microbiology (SWACM). Dr. Capraro holds a Ph. D. in Microbiology & Immunology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, an MS in Molecular Biology/Biotechnology from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, and a BA in Biology from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. He completed his fellowship training in Clinical and Public Health Microbiology in June of 2011 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. His training spans the breadth of clinical microbiology, to include bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and mycobacteria, and their role in the development of infectious diseases. His research interests include molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and microbial virulence, and the development of molecular diagnostic assays for use in the clinical laboratory.

James A. Coker—Graduate Student to Postdoctoral Study
Dr. Coker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and the Graduate Biomedical Sciences Community at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The research in his lab focuses on gene regulation networks and the adaptions of life in extreme environments. Dr. Coker conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and The Pennsylvania State University, and received his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University and two Bachelor’s Degrees from Oklahoma State University with a minor in Philosophy. Dr. Coker’s background is primarily along the academic route with some experience in the field of science policy; therefore, he will be most helpful/useful to mentees interested in one (or both) of these career fields.

Sean Crosson—Undergraduate Student to Graduate School
Sean Crosson is an Associate Professor in the Development of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Committee on Microbiology at the University of Chicago. His area of interest includes bacterial physiology, biochemistry/biophysics, and structural biology. He is happy to meet with both undergraduate and graduate students. Lisa Gorski—Careers in Government Dr. Lisa Gorski earned her PhD from The University of Connecticut and did post-doctoral work at Stanford University before starting her own research program at the Western Regional Research Center of the USDA Agricultural Research Service near Berkeley, CA. Her work focuses on the association and detection from produce of the foodborne pathogens Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes, and their prevalence and ecology in produce-growing environments. With over 10 years of experience working in the Federal government, she is capable of providing advice to microbiologists interested in government research, and alternative career paths for microbiologists.

Janet Hindler—Clinical Career Track Transitions
Janet Hindler has worked in the clinical microbiology laboratory at UCLA Medical Center for 34 years and has been a clinical microbiologist for over 40 years. Her educational background is MS in clinical laboratory science and medical technologist certification. Her focus has been on antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) and she has taught other laboratory professionals about this topic at the local, national, and international levels. She is also actively involved with several professional organizations, including ASM, the College of American Pathologists, and the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.

Matthew Kane—Careers in Government
Matthew D. Kane, PhD, currently serves as a Program Director for the NSF Ecosystem Studies, Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) and Dimensions of Biodiversity programs, and has oversight of the NSF Science and Technology Center for Microbial Oceanography Research and Education (C-MORE). He served for four years as the head of the General and Applied Microbiology Divisional Group of the American Society for Microbiology, and for two years as chair of its Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology Division. Prior to joining NSF, he held positions at the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University, and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois.

Edna Kaneshiro—Undergraduate Student to Graduate School
Edna Kaneshiro works in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. Her areas of expertise include the basic biology of protists, biochemistry and cell biology. As a mentor, she is interested in enhancing diversity in both race and gender. Jay Kuchta—Alternative Career Tracks Jay Kuchta is an environmental microbiologist who has spent the last 32 years with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. He have served as chief microbiologist and QA-QC Officer to the present. His research has centered on Legionnaire’s Disease bacteria and it’s protection from disinfection by Hartmannellae amoebae. More recently, he has been looking at the increased levels of bromide in source waters as a result of Marcellus Shale drilling. Developing an Intensive QA-QC program has also been challenging.

Michael Leibowitz—Graduate Student Moving to Tenure Track
Michael J. Leibowitz, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology at University of California-Davis, where his research focuses on malaria interactions with endothelial cells. He was formerly Professor and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in NJ, where he was founding program director of 3 NIH-funded training programs for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for increasing diversity in the biomedial sciences. He is Distinguished Visiting Professor at Universidad del Este in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and is a member of the Minorities Affairs Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Kausar Malik—Careers in Industry
Kausar Malik is a Senior Research Scientist at the Amway Corporation. His area of expertise includes cosmetic and nutrition microbiology. He is interested in mentoring those who are interested in bio-assay, molecular biology, and microbiology method development, and antimicrobial activity.

Kalai Mathee—Graduate Student to Postdoctoral Study
Kalai Mathee is with the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University. Dr. Mathee is interested in Microbial Pathogenesis.

Balaraj Menon—Graduate Student to Postdoctoral Study
Balaraj Menon is currently transitioning into an Investigator position at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, as well as Instructor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. Raj graduated with his M.Sc. degree in Microbiology from the University of Mumbai and with his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi. His research during his graduate years focused on eukaryotic gene regulation and bacterial subcellular architecture. As part of his postdoctoral studies and ongoing research, Raj investigates mechanisms by which virulent pathogens abrogate the mucosal barrier of the ocular surface epithelium. Raj will be interested in providing advice and direction to graduate students who are at a crossroads in deciding whether to join the industry or continue in academics.

Joanna Mott—Graduate Student to Tenure Track
Joanna Mott, Ph.D. is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Biology at James Madison University, Virginia. Prior to August 2011 she was Professor and Chair of the Department of Life Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, a designated Hispanic Serving Institution. Dr. Mott’s area of interest is environmental and applied microbiology, specifically water quality, pathogens and public health.

Rajesh Nayak—Careers in Government
Rajesh Nayak works at the US Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Nayak’s scientific interests include Microbial forensics, Molecular epidemiology and source tracking of foodborne pathogens, antimicrobial resistance and bacterial pathogenicity.
Nisha Padhye—Careers in Industry
Nisha Padhye holds a M.S. in Organic Chemistry from Bombay University, India , and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was a Visiting Scientist at CDC for 6 months and then have worked in industry for the last 22 years. She has been in a position of Scientist, Senior Scientist, Group Leader, Manager and is currently a Director of R&D at LI-COR Biosciences.

Naomi Rosenberg – Graduate Study to Postdoctoral Study
Naomi Rosenberg, PhD is Dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University and Professor of Pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine. She received her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Vermont, completed postdoctoral training with David Baltimore at MIT and then joined the Tufts faculty. Her research focused on mechanisms of leukemia development with a special interest in the ABL oncogene that causes human chronic myelogenous leukemia. In addition to research, graduate education has been a central focus of her career. She has trained 29 PhD students and has served in several different leadership roles related to graduate education.

Michael Schurr—Undergraduate Student to Graduate School
Michael Schurr and is an Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. His laboratory studies the regulation of virulence determinants in the Gram-neagtive opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Sheikh Selim—Careers in Industry
Sheikh Selim is the Director of R&D and Q/QC Programs at PHL Associates, Inc. Dr. Selim’s areas of scientific interest include vaccine development, active and passive immunity, veterinary vaccine and biologics manufacturing and quality insurance.
Yi-Wei Tang—Clinical Career Track Transitions
Dr. Yi-Wei Tang is currently the Chief of the Clinical Microbiology Service at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, USA. Dr. Tang ranks among the top of the scientific field in clinical microbiology, as evidenced by his election as an Editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and a Fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology and of the Infectious Disease Society of America. Dr. Tang has been recognized for his extraordinary expertise in the molecular microbiology diagnosis and monitoring with 143 peer-reviewed articles and 57 book chapters in this field during the past 20 years.

Armen Trchounian—Graduate Student Moving to Tenure Track
Armen Trchounian is the Head & Professor, Principal Investigator, Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Yerevan State University. His main interests are Biophysics and energetics of proton and other ions transport and its role in bacterial cell physiology; Environmental regulation of bacterial growth and metabolism, hydrogenase activity and hydrogen production by bacteria; Bacterial effects of electromagnetic fields.

Heather Webb—Careers in Industry
Heather Webb is a Senior Molecular Biologist at 3M. She is also a Registered Microbiologist RM. For the past eight years she has been working in new product development at 3M in the area of Diagnostics and Sterilization Assurance. She is lead product developer for Sterilization Assurance working on the development of new biological indicators for hospital sterilization.

Lindsey Westerbeck—Careers in Industry
Lindsey Westerbeck works for Sutter Medical Foundation in the Sacramento area. She is the new supervisor of Sutter Medical's regional Microbiology lab. They provide service to 5 hospitals, along with all the outpatient testing for their region. Her current area of discipline is medical Microbiology. She would be best suited mentoring college graduates, current clinical lab scientists and students interested in a career path in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory.

Kenny Yeh—Alternative Career Tracks
Kenny Yeh is a Principal Scientist-Project Team Lead at MRIGlobal. He is an expert in bioengagement/threat reduction and biodefense technologies where his experience includes business development, project management, product development (agent detection), and research. He is happy to meet with those considering careers in related fields (e.g. transition from lab to management, business) and recent graduates.