News and Recognition [Please notify us of your "latest and greatest", especially student achievements!]

!! MGP FAll Social Event !!

September 6th, 4 - 6 pm at Mitch's Tavern (Hillsborogh St.); Beverage, Snacks and stimulating conversation

Come and meet new and continuing students, faculty, and friends. Hosted by our MBGSA graduate students!

Phillip Brown
Anna Garrell
Rachel Hammer
Ourania Raftopolou

Micaela Robson

2019 MGP Graduating STudents

Clara Jones - MS;  Characterization of Escherichia coli  O157:H7 Stationary Phase Acid Resistance and Assessment of Survival in a Mock Vegetable Fermentation System” (F. Breidt Lab)

Kyle Griewisch - MS; “Genetic Determinants of Synthetic 4-Oxazolidinone Small Molecule Biofilm Inhibition in Salmonella Typhimurium” (J. Elfenbein and J. Pierce Labs)

Phillip Brown - MS; "Genetic characterization of a serotype 4b-specific inhibition phenotype in Listeria monocytogenes" (S. Kathariou Lab)

Alex Duryee - MM (non-thesis)


Nicholas Faulkner - 2018 GSA Award for Excellence in Laboratory Teaching

Stephanie Johnstone - 2018 GSA Award for Excellence in Laboratory Teaching

2019 Faculty Research Recognition

Frank Scholle and Reza Ghiladi

Self-Sterilizing Polymers; Chemistry World (Royal Society of Chemistry)

Amy Grunden, Marc Cubeta, Christine Hawkes, Manuel Kleiner and others

Collaborative Crop Reslience Program (Novo Nordisk Foundation); A Multi-Faculty Collaborative


2018 Faculty Recognition

Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou (College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, FBNS)

Elected member, US National Academy of Science

NAS prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

Launch of the CRISPR Journal, Editor in Chief

Dr. Francis de los Reyes, III (College of Engineering, CCEE)

Academy of Outstanding Teachers


Dr. Bob Kelly (College of Engineering, BCE)

2018 ASM DuPont Industrial BioSciences Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (shared with Michael W.W. Adams, University of Georgia)

Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society for Extremophiles, Ischia, Italy (September, 2018)


Barrangou Lab

Defining the Future of CRISPR

Paerl Lab

Taking Their Vitamins: Researchers Find Bacterioplankton Rely on Environmental Vitamin B1

Kleiner Lab

Intestinal Virus Study Shows Major Changes Associated With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

What do Microbes in the Gut Eat?

Fall 2018 Microbiology Graduate Students

Alexandria Bartlett

Kelly Craig

Amelia Ellis

Sarah Montoya

Angie Mordant

Deaja Sanders


Faculty Research Activities and Recognition

Computers Discover Compounds That Could Reduce Listeria’s Virulence

Finding New Drugs, Faster

Barrangou Wins NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

Can You Guess Which Species Has the Most Gut Microbes?

Lost and Found

Pass It On: Bacteria Can Spread Antibiotic Resistance Through Soil

Student Recognition

Please join us in congratulating Microbiology doctoral student Stephanie Johnstone (sejohn11@ncsu.edu; S. Laster Lab, Biol Sci) in recognition of her $5,000 research award from the Comparative Medicine Institute-Emerging & Infectious Diseases Seed Grant program.  Her project is titled "Alkylamides to treat postherpetic neuralgia".

Welcome Spring 2018 New MB Graduate Students

Nick Taylor (Kleiner Lab)

Lindsay Simmons (Sikes Lab)


Fall MGP Graduate Student - Faculty Social

Join new and continuing students, MGP faculty and new friends at -

Mitch’s Tavern

Friday September 8, 2017

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Free food, beverage and friends!

RSVP to Stephanie Johnstone at sejohn11@ncsu.edu by September 1st.


Welcome Fall 2017 New MB Graduate Students (PhD, MS and MM)

David Brodsky (Laster Lab)

Phillip Brown (Kathariou Lab)

Mara Cuebas-Irizarry (Grunden Lab)

Alex Duryee (Hu Lab)

Kyle Griewisch (Pierce / Elfenbein Labs)

Rebekah Kendall (non-thesis; UNC Hospitals)

Madiha Nazir (Bruno-Barcena Lab)

Linda Salas Meza (Hyman Lab)

Zhongtian Zhang (Williams Lab)

We wish you all much success in the program!


Welcome New MGP Training Faculty


Manuel Kleiner

Department of Plant & Microbial Biology

Symbioses and microbiomes; metagenomics and metaproteomics




Joshua Pierce

Department of Chemistry

Small molecule probes to identify antimicrobial targets and lead molecules for therapeutics


Gavin Williams

Department of Chemistry
Synthetic biology for the synthesis, diversification and discovery of natural products for drug development



2016 Kenneth R. Keller Awardee - Walter Sandoval -

Congratulations to Walter as the 2016 Kenneth R. Keller Award for excellence in doctoral dissertation research in agriculture and life sciences.  One $2,500 award is provided each year to a CALS doctoral student, selected from nomination packages (letters, dissertation, publications, research significance, etc.) provided by the graduate program.  The selection committee consists of members of the Academy of William Neal Reynolds Professors.  Congratulations to Walter (reachable at the address below) and his research advisor Jose Bruno-Barcena!

Kenneth R. Keller Award Information

Walter J. Sandoval, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow - Balskus Group
Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Harvard University
12 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138




Congratulations UGSA Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awardees

Kristen Bennett - doctoral candidate; Mike Hyman, Adviser (PMB)

Jennifer Greenstein - doctoral candidate; Paul Hamilton, Adviser (PMB)


Congratulations 2015 MGP graduates

Amy Ann Devlin - MB PHD; Scott Laster, Adviser (Biol Sci)

Dissertation title: Murine Host Response to Spirochetes and Their Ligands

Stephanie Lambeth Mathews - MB PHD; Amy Grunden, Adviser (PMB)

Dissertation title: Biodegradation and Bioconversion of Lignocellulosic Waste Streams by Paenibacillus glucanolyticus

Jennifer Lynn Stone - MB PHD; Michael Sikes, Adviser (Biol Sci)

Dissertation title: Feedback Control of Tcrb Gene Recombination

Jason Michael Whitham - MB PHD; Amy Grunden, Adviser (PMB)

Dissertation title: Identifying Genetic Targets and Growth Conditions for Higher Ethanol Production by the Synthesis Gas Fermenting Bacterium Clostridium ljungdahlii

Eleven 2015 MMB graduates- MB MMB; Paul Hamilton, Adviser (PMB) http://bit.ly/1Re4nE4

Shannon Reisdorf - MB MR; Eric Miller, Adviser (PMB); Non-thesis


Welcome New MGP Training Faculty

Carlos Goller

Molecular mechanisms for formation of biofilms and the persistence of bacterial communities in common (often household) environments, using metagenomics and high throughput sequencing. http://biotech.ncsu.edu/instructors

Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriguez

Microbial Ecology of Human Pathogen in Ag-environments.


Mari Chinn
Production of bio-based products, such as enzymes, biochemicals, and biofuels from agro-industrial residues and dedicated biomass crops. http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/people/faculty/mschinn/

Ilenys Muniz Perez-Diaz

Development of microbiology-based technologies for the improvement of the quality, safety, and value of the commercially available vegetable products.



Johanna Elfenbein
Pathogenesis of the zoonotic pathogen Salmonella enterica and how this bacterium grows inside the intestine to colonize susceptible hosts. https://cvm.ncsu.edu/c/l/docs/personnel/elfenbein_johanna.html

Megan Jacob
Detection and diagnostics of antibiotic resistance and the epidemiology and ecology of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia colihttps://cvm.ncsu.edu/c/l/dphp/micro/jacob.html

Cristina Lanzas
Ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases with focus on enteric and antimicrobial resistant pathogens. https://cvm.ncsu.edu/c/l/dphp/personnel/lanzas.html

Casey Theriot
Identifying the role of the gastrointestinal tract microbiome and metabolome in shaping colonization resistance against Clostridium difficile. https://cvm.ncsu.edu/c/l/dphp/personnel/theriot.html

UNC [advisory committee participation]

M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril

Molecular mechanisms involved in modulation of microbial populations and their environment by probiotics and prebiotics, and identification of molecular associations between components of the microbiome and specific gut cells or systems. http://www.med.unc.edu/microbiome/research


New Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities faculty cluster


Congratulations and many thanks to Chase Beisel (COE CBE) and Mike Hyman (CALS PMB) for spearheading a winning cluster proposal that will fund four new faculty positions in this area across campus.  The hard work has begun and the search committee is moving forward with evaluating applications.  We can anticipate that the MGP and other graduate programs on campus will benefit from graduate student participation in training opportunities provided by these new faculty.



Microbiology Graduate Program faculty Mike Hyman & Chase Beisel ("Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities"), Sid Thakur ("Targeted Drug Discovery and Development: The Battle against Multidrug Resistant Bacterial Pathogens"; and "The Exposome One Health Initiative"; co-lead on two proposals) and Francis de los Reyes ("Global WaSH [Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene])" advanced to the "final 13" of the current round of the Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program, or "cluster hires".  Congratulations to them for these strong efforts, and all the best for a positive outcome!  Microbiology faculty and our graduate students would have an opportunity to contribute to many of these cluster areas.

Brant Johnson (Microbiology Ph.D. candidate; Todd Klaenhammer lab; FBNS) and Stephanie Mathews (Microbiology Ph.D. candidate; Amy Grunden lab; PMB) won first place in the Life Sciences and the Agriculture Sciences & Natural Resources catgories, respectively, for their posters presented at the 2015 Graduate Research Symposium.  Congratulations to these outstanding graduate student researchers!

Jennifer Stone (Microbiology Ph.D. candidate; M. Sikes Lab, Department of Biological Sciences), Mani Kotipalli and Nicholas Taylor (both Masters of Microbial Biotechnology) won NC State UGSA 2015 "Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards.  Congratulations to these outstanding teaching assistants!

Susan Gardner (Microbiology PhD candidate; Department of Biological Sciences J. Olson laboratory) won the NC State UGSA 2014 "Award for Mentorship and Dedication to Teaching", one of two top awards for campus graduate student teaching.  It comes with a $500 monetary prize as well!

Dr. Amy Grunden was named a Univeristy Faculty Scholar by the NCSU Provost.  She was among 24 faculty members named to the inaugural 2012 - 2013 class.  The complete announcement can be viewed here.