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Current Lab Members

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DR. LINDA COLUMBUS

Principle Investigator (PI)

Postdoctoral Research: The Scripps Research Institute

Advisors: Kurt Wuthrich and Scott Lesley

PhD: The University of California Los Angeles (2001)

Advisor: Wayne Hubbell

BA, high honors: Smith College (1996)

Advisor: David Bickar

Professor Columbus is interested in understanding membrane biophysics to investigate the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins involved in bacterial pathogenesis.

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DR. MEAGAN BELCHER DUFRISNE

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD: Physiology, Columbia University (2018)

              Advisor: Filippo Mancia

BS: Biochemistry, University of Nevada, Reno (2011)
BA: Mathematics, University of Nevada, Reno (2011)

Meagan’s research aims to identify the molecular determinants of the interactions between Opa proteins and their receptors in vitro, in order to gain a better understanding of bacterial pathogen – host interactions.

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DR. CHRISTOPHER BARYIAMES

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD: Chemistry, Univ. Texas at Austin (2021)

              Advisor: Carlos Baiz

BS: Chemistry, Providence College (2016)

Chris' research focuses on measuring the driving forces that drive lipid-lipid and lipid - protein interactions.

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JACKSON BARTHOLOMEW-SCHOCH 

Graduate Student

BS: Chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry 

BS: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Appalachian State University (2022)

Jackson is currently working on LspA and lipid interactions.

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JUANEISHA FINNIE

Graduate Student

BA: Biochemistry (2023)

Minors in legal studies and psychology

Juaneisha is working on the Opa project.

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CONNOR McDERMOTT

Graduate Student

BA: French Language and Culture, BS: Biology with a concentration in Physiology and Neurobiology, BS: Chemistry, University of Maryland at College Park (2020)

Connor is currently working on the Opa project.

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MATT NECELIS

Graduate Student

BS: Biochemistry, Rowan University (2019)

Matt is currently working on the bicelle project.

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DR. MEAGAN BELCHER DUFRISNE

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD: Physiology, Columbia University (2018)

              Advisor: Filippo Mancia

BS: Biochemistry, University of Nevada, Reno (2011)
BA: Mathematics, University of Nevada, Reno (2011)

Meagan’s research aims to identify the molecular determinants of the interactions between Opa proteins and their receptors in vitro, in order to gain a better understanding of bacterial pathogen – host interactions.

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JACKSON BARTHOLOMEW-SCHOCH 

Graduate Student

BS: Chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry 

BS: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Appalachian State University (2022)

Jackson is currently working on LspA and lipid interactions.

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JUANEISHA FINNIE

Graduate Student

BA: Biochemistry 

Minors in legal studies and psychology, Univeristy of Mississippi (2021)

Juaneisha is working on the Opa project.

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CONNOR McDERMOTT

Graduate Student

BA: French Language and Culture, BS: Biology with a concentration in Physiology and Neurobiology, BS: Chemistry, University of Maryland at College Park (2020)

Connor is currently working on the Opa project.

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MATT NECELIS

Graduate Student

BS: Biochemistry, Rowan University (2019)

Matt is currently working on the bicelle project.

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NICOLLE LAÍNES

Undergraduate Student

Majoring in Biochemistry and Physics at UVA

Nicolle is working on the impact of the lipid environment on LeuT conformtaional states and function.

Previous Lab Members

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DR. CHRISTOPHER BARYIAMES

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD: Chemistry, Univ. Texas at Austin (2021)

              Advisor: Carlos Baiz

BS: Chemistry, Providence College (2016)
Current: Project Associate UVA Cancer Center

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DR. TRACY CALDWELL

Graduate Student

PhD: Biophysics, University of Virginia (2020)

BS: Biophysical Chemistry, James Madison

University (2015)
Current: Pursuing a career in occupational therapy

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DR. NICOLE SWOPE

Graduate Student

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2020)

BS: Biochemistry, Saginaw Valley State University (2015)

Current: Research Scientist at Viela Bio 

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DR. STEVEN KELLER

Graduate Student

PhD: Biophysics, University of Virginia (2019)

BS: Physics, Davidson University (2014)

Current: PostDoc at University of Pennsylvania

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DR. JASON KUHN

Graduate Student and PostDoc

PhD: Biophysics, University of Virginia (2018)

BS: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2010)

Current: PostDoc at Oxford Brooks University

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DR. JEN MARTIN

Graduate Student and PostDoc

Postdoctoral Fellow: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2016-2019)

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2016)

BS: Biology, Penn State Berks County (2011)

Current: Assistant Professor at Stockton University

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DR. MARISSA KIEBER

Graduate Student

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2018)

BS: Chemistry, University of North Carolina at

Chapel Hill (2012)

Current: Pharmaceutical Sciences Specialist at

Johnson & Johnson

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DR. ASTON BROCK

Graduate Student

Clinical Chemistry Fellow, University of Virginia (2019)

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2016)

BS: Chemistry, Winthrop University (2011)

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DR. RYAN LO

Graduate Student

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2014)

BS: Chemistry, Franklin and Marshall College (2009)

Current: Senior Research Scientist at Charles River Laboratories

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DR. RYAN OLIVER

Graduate Student

PostDoc: TR-SAS, Lund University (2019)

PostDoc: Bio-SANS, Oak Ridge National Lab (2018)

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2013)

MS: Chemistry, University of University of North Carolina (2010)

BS: Chemistry, University of North Carolina (2005)

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DR. DAN FOX

Graduate Student

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2013)

BS: Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh (2007)

Current: Senior Analytical Chemist at Albemarle Corporation

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DR. BRETT KRONCKE

Graduate Student

PostDoc: Vanderbilt University (2012)

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2012)

BS: Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2007)

Current: Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University

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DR. ALISON DEWALD

Graduate Student

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2012)

M.Ed: Educational Psychology, Temple University (2006)

BS: Chemistry, Penn State University (2001)

Current: Associate Professor at Salisbury University

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ETHAN SESCO

Graduate Student

MS: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2022)

BS: Chemistry, Wake Forest (2020)

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SPENCER GREWE

Graduate Student

MA: Chemistry, University of Virginia

BS: Biophysical Chemistry, James Madison

University (2019)

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