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Lyu Lab Members

Meet the members of the Lyu Lab!

Abigail O’Brien – Research Technician

My research background ranges from fermentation & distillation, aquatic biology with water quality testing, molecular biology, animal physiology, and microbiology. My research interests include cyanobacteria, diatoms, microbiomes, quorum sensing, and astro microbiology. In the Lyu lab, I will not only continue to practice my previous research skills but grow as a scientist and explore more sides of microbiology including both archaea and bacteria. I look forward to the collaboration, laughs, and achievements we will have in our lab.

Carla Sanchez – Ph.D. Student

I​ am a PhD student in the microbiology ​program advised by Dr. Zhe Lyu. ​I have a chemistry background but my previous work​ at Baylor College of Medicine introduced me to the world of microbiology, isolating ​​microbial strains from a variety of sources including human gut​ tissues, fecal samples, eye swabs, etc using various techniques. I hope to expand on what I learned there and use it in understanding the significance of methanogens in human health and disease, their relationships with commensal bacteria and pathogenic bacteria, as well as their physiology and molecular mechanisms in the GI tract. I am so excited to be a part of a great team with the Lyu lab and can’t wait to see where we go.

Emily Sontag – Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Genetics and minoring in Microbiology. My research interests pertain to using advanced gene editing tools such as CRISPR, to help cure diseases in both animals and humans. Prior to joining Dr. Lyu’s lab, I had been exposed to CRISPR and other molecular techniques such as PCR and Electrophoresis in a hands-on laboratory setting. In the Lyu lab, I will continue to improve my knowledge and skills in genetics and microbiology using in vitro model systems.

Kairi Tanaka – Ph.D. Student

I am a PhD student in the fascinating fields of microbiology and animal science, co-advised by Drs. Zhe Lyu and Vivek Fellner. Combining both fields, my research focuses on the physiology of methanogens in the ruminal microbiome and mechanism of anaerobic fermentation in the
rumen, providing insights into mitigation of methane production from ruminant livestock and improving feed efficiency. The rumen has been an intriguing subject to study because of its complex microbial composition and interaction among bacteria, archaea, fungi, and protozoa that directly affect the health and performance of the host animal. I am thrilled to embark on this interdisciplinary journey with Drs. Lyu and Fellner and their excellent lab teams.