Assistant Research Professor
Originally from Seoul, South Korea. After completing a Ph.D. in molecular microbiology from Seoul National University in 2005, WonSik joined the lab of Dr. Eduardo Groisman at Washington University in St. Louis for a postdoc, conducting research on gene regulation and a mechanism of the two-component regulatory systems that is critical for virulence in Salmonella typhimurium. Then he moved to Yale University with his PI to continue his research. He determined a mechanism of intrinsic negative feedback whereby a change in the opposing biochemical activities of a bifunctional histidine kinase results in differential gene expression, which has implications for the diverse cellular events that depend upon the enzyme’s function. Later, he joined the lab of Dr. Taeok Bae at Indiana University as a scientist and worked with Staphylococcus aureus, focusing on antibiotic resistance, control of gene expression, the development of anti-virulence drugs, and the SaeRS two-component system. He is interested in how an organism senses environmental signals, how those signals are transmitted into the cell, how an organism turns a gene on or off to adjust or survive in a given condition. WonSik enjoys traveling, camping, fishing with his family, and playing games and soccer with his two daughters.
Shahad Alqahtani comes to us from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She earned her B.S. in Microbiology from King Abdulaziz University in 2012 and subsequently her M.S. in Cellular and Molecular Regulation at St. Louis University. Her M.S. thesis research focused on Group B streptococcus (GBS) and its reliance on glutathione to defend itself against reactive oxygen species (ROS). Shahad recently received a scholarship from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pursue her Ph.D. in the Brinsmade lab, where she will focus on CodY’s role in activating the SaeR/S Two Component System. When not in the lab, Shahad enjoys walking, cooking, and dancing with her son.
Danna is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. She earned her BSc in Biology from the National University of Colombia. She worked with P-type ATPases from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, identifying their physiological roles and potential as therapeutic targets. As an undergraduate, Danna won the "Talented Youth in Health Sciences" scholarship awarded by the National Science Ministry and the "Woman + Science + Equity" scholarship from the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI). From Danna: "I sincerely believe that Georgetown University is a fantastic place to pursue my specific research interests, which are closely related to host-pathogen interactions and bacterial physiology/responses." Away from the lab, she enjoys hiking, museums, and reading.
Originally from Southeast Virginia, Dennis graduated from Old Dominion University in the spring of 2018 earning his B.S. in Biology with a Minor in Music Performance. After completing his degree, he began working in the Biological Sciences Support Facility at ODU. While working there, he developed close connections with the research faculty on campus and eventually transitioned to working as a technician in the Daines lab on the Gram-negative, halophilic pathogen, Vibrio vulnificus, studying the effect of a Type II Toxin-Antitoxin System on growth. Overall, he is excited to pursue his Ph.D. in Biology at Georgetown University as a member of the Brinsmade lab. His specific interests include microbial pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions, and the bacterial stress response. Away from the lab, Dennis enjoys trying new places to eat in DC, spending time with his cat, practicing French horn, cooking, and sipping a nice glass of whiskey at the end of a long day.
Originally from Brazil, Marcelle earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the Federal University of Espirito Santo in 2013 and, in 2015, her M.S. in Sciences (Microbiology) from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Her M.S. thesis research focused on the characterization of biofilm composition and on the study of genes related with virulence in Staphylococcus epidermidis. After finishing her masters, Marcelle worked as a Pharmacist in the Brazilian Army, but never left behind her deep passion for research and Microbiology. She feels honored to pursue her PhD in Biology at Georgetown University and in being a member of the Brinsmade Lab. Her specific interest is in host-pathogen interactions, mainly through biofilm formation. Outside of the lab, Marcelle enjoys having time off at home with her husband, running, seeing nature, making cakes and eating good food.
Fabiana grew up in Tacna (also known as the Heroic City), Peru, before earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the Cayetano Heredia University in Lima. After completing her degree, Fabiana decided to pursue a graduate program in the USA, showing enthusiasm to understand biological problems through a biophysics approach. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a masters in Biophysics, and after finishing her master's she continued working at JHU, studying pioneer transcription factors and nucleosome-protein interactions. She decided to pursue her passion for microbiology in the Biology program at Georgetown and she is excited to pursue the Ph.D. as a member of Brinsmade lab. Her specific interests are in microbial nutrient sensing, host-pathogen interactions, and intracellular signaling for microbial survival. Fabiana enjoys walking, painting, playing board games, exploring DC museums, and enjoying a glass of wine while cooking.
Jennifer is an undergraduate student majoring in Biology of Global Health and minoring in Statistics. She became interested in working in the lab when exploring public health approaches for antibiotic resistance, and she previously worked in a vaccine clinical development laboratory. On campus, she helps lead the Undergraduate Bioethics Society. In her free time, she likes to read and play the flute.
Daniel is an undergraduate student majoring in Biology of Global Health and minoring in Mathematics. Previously, he assisted in clinical oncology research at Georgetown Med Center where he became interested in post-operative infections associated with cancer surgeries. On campus, he works for The Corp at Vital Vittles and is a member of Georgetown University Students for Health and Medical Equity. In his free time, Daniel enjoys playing basketball, running, and exploring DC.
Maeve is an undergraduate student majoring in Biology and minoring in French. After attending lobbyist meetings while interning with Congressman Al Green on Capitol Hill, she became interested in the pharmaceutical industry and infectious disease research. Maeve is excited to learn more about the link between metabolism and the pathogenesis of S. aureus, whilst applying foundational data analytical skills in R. On campus, she is a peer advisor for the college and is involved with the pro-choice student club, h*yas for choice. In her free time, Maeve enjoys running with her friends, trying new foods, and traveling.