Lauren Franco

Lauren Franco, Ph.D. Microbiology

Advisor: Dr. Matthew Fields

DissertationNutrient limitation alters metabolism, Cr(VI) response, and biofilm matrix composition in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough.

Future Plans: Lauren is currently pursuing a Postdoc at the CDC.


Autonomous Metabolomics for Rapid Metabolite Identification in Global Profiling. H. Paul Benton, Julijana Ivanisevic, Nathaniel G. Mahieu, Michael E. Kurczy, Caroline H. Johnson, Lauren Franco, Duane Rinehart, Elizabeth Valentine, Harsha Gowda, Baljit K. Ubhi, Ralf Tautenhahn, Andrew Gieschen, Matthew W. Fields, Gary J. Patti, and Gary Siuzdak
Analytical Chemistry 2015 87 (2), 884-891
DOI: 10.1021/ac5025649

Lauren Brutscher

Lauren Brutscher, Ph.D. Microbiology

Advisors: Dr. Michelle Flenniken and Dr. Carl Yeoman

Dissertation: Insect-Microbe Interactions: Honey Bee Antiviral Defense and Wheat Stem Sawfly Microbiome

Future Plans: Lauren is in U.C. Davis California for her Postdoc.


  1. Brutscher, L. M., Daughenbaugh, K. F. & Flenniken, M. L. Antiviral defense mechanisms in honey bees. Curr. Opin. Insect Sci. 2, 1–12 (2015).
  2. Brutscher, L. M. & Flenniken, M. L. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee. J. Immunol. Res. 2015, 1–10 (2015).
  3. Brutscher, L. M., McMenamin, A. J. & Flenniken, M. L. The Buzz about Honey Bee Viruses. PLoS Pathog. 12, 1–7 (2016).
  4. Brutscher, L. M., Daughenbaugh, K. F. & Flenniken, M. L. Virus and dsRNA-triggered transcriptional responses reveal key components of honey bee antiviral defense. Sci. Rep. 7, 6448 (2017).

photo credit Kelly Gorham



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Sarah Mailhiot, Ph.D. Engineering

Advisor: Dr. Ron June

Dissertation: Diffusion and Diffusive Exchange are Sensitive to the Structure of Cartilage as Measured by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Future Plans: Sarah is currently in Sweden for a Postdoc in Physical Chemistry.


  1. Mailhiot SE, Zignego DL, Prigge JR, Wardwell ER, Schmidt EE, June RK (2015) Non-Invasive Quantification of Cartilage Using a Novel In Vivo Bioluminescent Reporter Mouse. PLoS ONE 10(7)
  2. Mailhiot, S. E., Williamson, N. H., Brown, J. R., Seymour, J. D., Codd, S. L., & June, R. K. (2017). T 1–T 2 Correlation and Biopolymer Diffusion Within Human Osteoarthritic Cartilage Measured with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Applied Magnetic Resonance, 48(4), 407–422.

Photo credit Kelly Gorham

Sarah Ohlen, Ph.D. Neuroscience

Advisor: Dr. Frances Lefcort

Dissertation: Determining Function of The Ikap Protein in the Peripheral Nervous System for Targeted Therapeutic Intervention in Familial Dysautonomia.

Future Plans:


  1. Ohlen, S. B., Russell, M. L., Brownstein, M. J., & Lefcort, F. (2017). BGP-15 prevents the death of neurons in a mouse model of familial dysautonomia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(19), 5035–5040. 
  2. Lefcort, F., Mergy, M., Ohlen, S. B., Ueki, Y., & George, L. (2017). Animal and cellular models of familial dysautonomia. Clinical Autonomic Research, 27(4), 235–243.


katie davis

Katie Davis, Ph.D. Engineering

Advisors: Dr. Robin Gerlach and Dr. Mathew Fields

Dissertation: Organic Amendments for Enhancing Microbial Coalbed Methane Production


1. Barnhart, E. P., Davis, K. J., Varonka, M., Orem, W., Cunningham, A. B., Ramsay, B. D., & Fields, M. W. (2017). International Journal of Coal Geology. International Journal of Coal Geology, 171(C), 69–75. 

2. Davis, K., Lu, S., Barnhart, E., Parker, A., Fields, M., Gerlach, R. (2018). Type and amount of organic amendments affect enhanced biogenic methane production from coal and microbial community structure. Fuel 211(1) 600-608.

Future Plans: Katie is finishing up her research and currently looking for postdoc positions.