Marian is a nature loving person who hails from Ghana. She earned her master’s degree from Illinois State University where her research was on synthesizing a protease inhibitor for Human T-cell Leukemia virus. She joined the Gerdt lab in December 2020. Marian is very interested in medicinal chemistry and so she’s excited to research into microbial natural product discovery in the Gerdt lab. During her free time, she loves to cook, read poetry, watch movies or listen to music.
Lorin is from Iowa. She received her B.A. in chemistry and biochemistry from Cornell College. After joining the Gerdt lab in 2022, she studies how structurally diverse lipids impact the phenotype of Capsaspora owczarzaki (one of the closest unicellular relatives of animals). In her free time, Lorin enjoys baking, walking/running, reading, and playing games.
Yanyao grew up in Ma‘anshan, a small city close to Nanjing. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Nanjing University and did organic chemistry research at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC). In Fall 2022, Yanyao joined the Gerdt Lab, focusing on chemical signaling in Capsaspora owczarzaki. In his free time, he enjoys sleeping, playing video games, and watching Esport games.
Olivia was born in Zionsville, Indiana and graduated from Zionsville High School. She is majoring in biochemistry with a minor in Spanish. She joined Gerdt’s lab in Fall 2021 and is focusing on the influences of microbial natural products on bacteriophage infectivity. In her free time, Olivia enjoys reading Stephen King novels, hiking, watching movies and spending time with her friends.
Catherine is a microbiologist by training, but she also has extensive research experience in immuno-oncology, pharmacology, 3D culture and next generation sequencing. Catherine joined the Gerdt lab in July 2019. She is excited to build the lab and make some cool discoveries. During her free time, when Catherine feels motivated, you would see her taking walks in her neighborhood (with the intention of meeting cats and deer) and working out at the gym. Otherwise she likes to watch dramas and play games at home. Last but not least, as a Malaysian, she likes to travel where delicious food leads.
Eleanor (Ellie) Goldstone
Eleanor Goldstone is working on getting a degree in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. She joined Gerdt’s lab the summer before starting college in June of 2021. Her research is centered on studying the three-way interaction between protists, snails, and parasites. During her free time, Eleanor likes to experiment in the kitchen and bring it into the lab.
Aria was born in Carmel, Indiana and graduated from Carmel High School. She is majoring in Biochemistry. She joined the Gerdt lab in the fall of 2022 to help find out which proteins are responsible for the aggregation seen in Capsaspora owczarzaki. In her free time, she enjoys photography, playing volleyball, and dancing.
Ria is an organic chemist who loves exploring the interface between biology and organic chemistry. She got her undergrad degrees in both chemistry and biology at New Mexico Tech where she helped to design and synthesize a library of anti-cancer compounds. Ria joined the Gerdt lab in December 2019. She is excited to expand her research beyond cancer cells and learn more about this interesting field. During her free time, if there is any, Ria enjoys making pottery as well as rock-hounding and lapidary.
Kyle was born in Brooklyn, New York, but moved and grew up in northwest Indiana. He is currently studying Biochemistry along with Mandarin in the Chinese Flagship Program. He joined the Gerdt Lab in Fall 2022 with a focus on investigating inducing factors for multicellular behavior witnessed in unicellular organisms closely related to animals. He plans to continue his research there until completion of his Biochemistry degree in which afterwards, he intends to study abroad in Asia for a year before moving on to graduate school. His hobbies include physical activities like running, ping pong, and volleyball, but also include video games and TV shows.
Ruibao Li comes from south China and studied choanoflagellates for his Ph.D. in University of Cologne, Germany. He subsequently studied the toxins and evolution of cyanobacteria as a postdoc, combining bioinformatics and molecular experiments. He joined the Gerdt group in November 2021 to study host-microbe (choanoflagellate-bacteria) interactions. In his leisure time, he likes to play table tennis, jog, and watch movies and soccer matches.
Soniya is originally from Andhra Pradesh, India. She received her integrated master’s degree in chemistry at IIT Bombay. She joined the Gerdt Lab as a Ph.D. student in 2019 to study bioactive metabolites produced by bacteria in different environments. In her free time, she likes to dance or watch dance videos but hates running. She also likes free food!!
Zhiyu (Troy) Zang
Zhiyu was born in northwest China and obtained his bachelor degree in Chemistry at Peking University, Beijing. He joined the Gerdt group in Fall 2019, where his research focuses on the bacteriophage defense mechanisms and the influence of natural products on bacteriophage infectivity. He has a lot of hobbies, such as playing basketball, going to the gym, practicing piano and guitar, watching movies and travelling.
Chengqian Zhang was born in the northeast of China and graduated from the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. He joined the Gerdt group in Fall 2021. As an undergraduate, he was interested in synthesizing nature product molecules. Now he’s working on isolating and analyzing new natural products that influence anti-bacteriophage defense systems. His hobbies are jazz music, old movies, and detective novels.