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FoMS is a student-run organization that seeks to build a strong sense of community for members of the Cornell Field of Microbiology. We host activities and events like:

  • Seminars featuring preeminant speakers
  • Interdisciplinary workshops
  • Social events and more!


We know that life as a graduate student can be very demanding and stressful. In this light, we seek to promote and celebrate scientific thought and development throughout the field of microbiology. Through these efforts, we hope to provide a social platform where students feel supported by our community.





Lab/Research Interest

Myfanwy Adams


Josh Chappie

Francine Arroyo


Esther Angert

My research focuses on the evolution of the large intestinal bacterial symbiont, Epulopisicium, and its interaction with its surgeonfish host

Samuel Barnett


Daniel Buckley

My research uses DNA stable isotope probing along with high throughput 16S and metagenome sequencing to examine the role of microbial communities in soil carbon cycling.

Kalia Bistolas


Ian Hewson

My research aims to characterize the viral consortia (nanobiome) associated with marine and lacustrine members of three major arthropod groups — amphipods, copepods, and isopods — and determine the ability of these viruses to mediate the biogeochemistry of their hosts. 

Anthony Bui


Current Lab Rotation: Matthew DeLisa

Eun Jin Choi


Jeongmin Song

I am studying Salmonella typhi, which causes ~200 million annual deaths in the world. My research goal is determining the function of PltA, which is one of the subunits of typhoid toxin, a virulence factor of S. typhi.

Alberto Correa


Joe Peters

Alexa Cohn


Martin Wiedmann

Trevor Corss


Tobias Doerr

Peter Diebold


Ilana Brito

Antibiotic resistance and horizontal gene transfer in the gut microbiome.

Rachel Fieweger


Brian VanderVen

Bixi He


Current Lab Rotation: John Helmann

Stacey Heaver


Ruth Ley

Shingolipid-dependent interactions between gut bacteria and their human hosts.

Kathryn Herr


Current Lab Rotation: Ilana Brito

Lory Henderson


Martin Wiedmann

I am interested in how different environmental conditions affect bacterial physiology in ways that impact their transmission to human hosts and their ability to cause disease. My research focuses on determining the mechanism by which the positive regulatory factor A (PrfA) and SigB interact to regulate expression of prfA and other functions related to Listeria monocytogenes transmission.

Shan-Chi Hsieh


Joe Peters

Hye-Rim Hong


Current Lab Rotation John Helmann

Elliot Jackson


Ian Hewson

Javier Jaimes Olaya


Gary Whittaker

My research focuses on the understanding of the Coronavirus entry processes into the cell. In particular, I’m assessing the role of the cellular proteases in the cleavage of the Spike protein of Feline Coronaviruses (FCoV) and the use of protease inhibitors as a possible therapeutic strategy. I’m also studying the genetic and protein changes that can alter the tropism in FCoV.

Jingqiu Liao


Martin Wiedmann

My current research focuses on understanding the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that shape the biogeographic pattern of foodborne pathogens, chiefly Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica, using genomic and molecular tools.


Sean Murphy


Daniel Buckley

Shannon Murphy


Tobias Doerr

Cell wall degrading enzymes allow bacteria to properly grow and maintain cell shape. I am researching endopeptidase function and regulation in Vibrio cholerae to uncover potential strategies for targeting the cell wall with antibiotics.

Aravind Natarajan



Matthew DeLisa

Design and engineering of protein glycosylation pathways in bacteria.

Vaidehi Patel


John Helmann

My research focuses on understanding role of Bacillus subtilis ECF sigma factor M in beta-lactam resistance

Michael Petassi


Joe Peters

I study transposons and other mobile genetic elements that facilitate horizontal gene transfer between diverse species of bacteria. These elements play an important role in the evolution of new pathogens, especially in regards to the spread of antibiotic resistance genes.

Vienvilay Phandanouvong Lozano


Anthony Hay

Azul Pinochet Varros


John Helmann

We study metal ion homeostasis in Bacillus subtilis, with a special focus on iron. We want to better understand how proper intracellular iron levels are maintained and the mechanisms of iron toxicity. We are also looking into the interactions between the iron and manganese systems in the cell. 

Imperio Real Ramirez


Tory Hendry

Jordan Rede


Current Lab Rotation: Ilana Brito

Daniel Rojas Tapias


John Helmann

My research focuses on the role of the extracytoplasmic sigma factors SigM and SigW, and the transcription factor Spx in the response to cell wall stress (CWER) of Bacillus subtilis. By using molecular biology tools, our ultimate goal is to unravel the genetic networks that accompany the CEWR in B. subtilis to provide a better understanding of how bacteria adapt to the presence of cell wall antibiotics.  

Emma Roszkowski


Current Lab Rotation: Jeongmin Song

Vivianna Sanchez


Current Lab Rotation: Esther Angert

Gabe Schuler


Current Lab Rotation: Tory Hendy

Samantha Scott


Pamela Chang

My research focuses on the impact and mechanism of action of various microbially produced metabolites on the intestinal barrier function both in vitro and in vivo

Caroline Steingard


Current Lab Rotation Tory Hendry

May Taw


Matthew DeLisa

My work focuses on engineering the twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway of Escherichia coli for the enhanced export of heterologous proteins by directed co-evolution. By doing so, we hope to isolate Tat mutants that can be used to enhance protein production in this host and provide insight on the poorly understood Tat transport mechanism.

Monique Theriault


David Russell

Host-directed therapy for treatment against tuberculosis.

Andrew St. James


Ruth Richardson

My research interest is the application of multi-omic analyses to study the ecology and physiology of sulfate reducing bacteria in methanogenic habitats.

Anna Weaver


Tobias Doerr

Bacteria must remodel and regenerate their cell wall to successfully divide. I am using Vibrio cholerae as a model organism to investigate the role of lytic transglycosylases in this essential process.

Hao Zhou


Ilana Brito