People

Seth Walk – Principal Investigator

seth_headshot
Seth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Montana State University. His research focuses on infectious diseases, microbial ecology, evolution and population genetics.

Phone: (406) 994-2649

Email: seth.walk@montana.edu

Curriculum vitae

Susan Broadaway – Lab Manager

susan_heashot

Sue manages the Walk Lab. She also participates in a project examining Clostridium difficile infections from clinical specimens collected at medical centers around the US. This involves testing for the presence of C. difficile using culture, PCR, cell-culture-based cytotoxin assay and an immunoassay. The goal is to determine if any method of diagnosis best determines patient outcome.

Phone: 406-994-1744

Email: scb@montana.edu

Mark McAlpine – Lab Animal Manager

walklab6-2

Mark’s expertise is in vivo experimentation. He spearheads the Walk Lab’s germ-free mouse program, which he and Dr. Walk initiated at MSU in 2012.

Email: mcalpine.mark@gmail.com

Michael Coryell – Ph.D. Student

walklab52-2

Michael is studying how microbes living in the human gut protect us from exposure to ingested arsenic. His research focuses on determining the extent to which the gut microbiome can protect the host from chronic or acute arsenic exposure and what mechanisms underlie this protection.

Email: michael.coryell@gmail.com

Jonathan Martinson – PhD Student

walklab5-2

Jonathan is studying antimicrobials that remove plasmids (small non-chromosomal DNA), which often carry antibiotic resistance genes. He is also studying how human intestinal organoids (HIOs) can be used as a model of the human intestine.  These tissues are a unique tool to demonstrate and understand host-microbe interactions.

Email: jonathan.martinson@msu.montana.edu

Thayne Ekness – Undergraduate Researcher

walklab214-2

Thayne is a sophomore majoring in Chemical Engineering. His research project is focused on molecular typing of Clostridium difficile strains using multilocus variable tandem number repeat analysis (MLVA).

 

Trisheena Kills Pretty Enemy – Undergraduate Researcher

walklab304

Trisheena is a Junior in Microbiology with a focus on Medical Laboratory Sciences. Trisheena has characterized a large set of Clostridium difficile strains for the presence of toxin genes.

Email: trisheenakpe@gmail.com

 

Lab Alumni

Stephanie Schneider – Rotation Student (2015)

walklab59-2

Stephanie is interested in Immunology and host response to infection and disease. She is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at MSU and was involved in arsenic detoxification studies in 2015.

Email: steph.schneider92@gmail.com

Stephen ‘Skip’ Olshefsky – Masters Student (2013-2015)

walklab518-2

Stephen “Skip” received his MS in Microbiology & Immunology in 2015 and is now pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Regina (Canada!). His Master’s research was on human intestinal organoids and how Escherichia coli strains could colonize/infect the intestinal epithelium.

Email: daseingp@me.com

Arielle Potter – Undergraduate Researcher (2013-2015)

walklab20-2

Arielle received her undergraduate in Microbiology in August of 2015 from MSU. She was part of a variety of projects while in the Walk Lab, but her primary research focus was the characterization of Escherichia strains isolated from the campus duck pond. Arielle received an INBRE-funded undergraduate research scholarship to conduct this research.

Anna Andrechak- Undergraduate Research Assistant (2013-2015)

walklab511-2

Anna graduated in May 2015 with a BS degree in Microbiology, focused on Environmental Health perspectives. Anna had a collaborative project with Arielle Potter to look for cryptic Escherichia clades present in the campus duck pond.  Anna received an INBRE scholarship to conduct her research. She collected and processed hundreds (!) of environmental samples and thousands (!) of bacterial isolates for DNA extraction, PCR, and sequencing. Anna has been accepted to graduate school at the University of Montana and will begin in the Fall of 2015.

Kaitlyn Okrusch – Undergraduate Researcher (2014-2015)

walklab217

Kaitlyn finished her BS degree in Nutritional Science and a minor in Biochemistry in May 2015. She has worked in the Walk Lab since May of 2014, with funding from Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Kaitlyn’s project was focused on the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She is currently working in Bozeman as a Physical Therapist Aide and is involved in an NIH-funded neuroscience project on the MSU campus. She plans to apply for Physician’s Assistant school this coming fall.

Annie Liotta – Undergraduate Researcher (2014)

Annie received her BS in Microbiology and a minor in Psychology in May of 2015. She is planning to apply for medical school this coming fall.

Christina (Kiki) Johnson – Bioinformatician (2014)

Kiki helped build our PCR ribotyping analysis pipeline and currently a PhD student at the Oslo University Hospital.

Sean Stettner – Undergraduate Researcher (2012-2014)

Sean graduated in May of 2014 with a BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He received an NIH INBRE-funded Undergraduate Scholars Program fellowship to conduct research on antibiotic resistant Klebsiella pneumonia. Sean is now in the Molecular & Cellular Life PhD Program at the University of Wyoming under the mentorship of Dr. Naomi Ward.