Lauren Brutscher

Lauren Brutscher, Ph.D. Microbiology

Advisors: Dr. Michelle Flenniken and Dr. Carl Yeoman

Dissertation: Insect-Microbe Interactions: Honey Bee Antiviral Defense and Wheat Stem Sawfly Microbiome

Future Plans: Lauren is finishing research in Dr. Flenniken's laboratory and will soon join U.C. Davis California for her Postdoc.


  1. Brutscher, L. M., Daughenbaugh, K. F. & Flenniken, M. L. Antiviral defense mechanisms in honey bees. Curr. Opin. Insect Sci. 2, 1–12 (2015).
  2. Brutscher, L. M. & Flenniken, M. L. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee. J. Immunol. Res. 2015, 1–10 (2015).
  3. Brutscher, L. M., McMenamin, A. J. & Flenniken, M. L. The Buzz about Honey Bee Viruses. PLoS Pathog. 12, 1–7 (2016).
  4. Brutscher, L. M., Daughenbaugh, K. F. & Flenniken, M. L. Virus and dsRNA-triggered transcriptional responses reveal key components of honey bee antiviral defense. Sci. Rep. 7, 6448 (2017).

photo credit Kelly Gorham



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Sarah Mailhiot, Ph.D. Engineering

Advisor: Dr. Ron June

Dissertation: Diffusion and Diffusive Exchange are Sensitive to the Structure of Cartilage as Measured by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Future Plans: Sarah is currently finishing research in Dr. June's laboratory and will travel to Sweden for a Postdoc in Physical Chemistry.


  1. Mailhiot SE, Zignego DL, Prigge JR, Wardwell ER, Schmidt EE, June RK (2015) Non-Invasive Quantification of Cartilage Using a Novel In Vivo Bioluminescent Reporter Mouse. PLoS ONE 10(7)
  2. Mailhiot, S. E., Williamson, N. H., Brown, J. R., Seymour, J. D., Codd, S. L., & June, R. K. (2017). T 1–T 2 Correlation and Biopolymer Diffusion Within Human Osteoarthritic Cartilage Measured with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Applied Magnetic Resonance, 48(4), 407–422.

Photo credit Kelly Gorham

Sarah Ohlen, Ph.D. Neuroscience

Advisor: Dr. Frances Lefcort

Dissertation: Determining Function of The Ikap Protein in the Peripheral Nervous System for Targeted Therapeutic Intervention in Familial Dysautonomia.

Future Plans: Sarah is currently finishing research in Dr. Lefcort's laboratory.


  1. Ohlen, S. B., Russell, M. L., Brownstein, M. J., & Lefcort, F. (2017). BGP-15 prevents the death of neurons in a mouse model of familial dysautonomia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(19), 5035–5040. 
  2. Lefcort, F., Mergy, M., Ohlen, S. B., Ueki, Y., & George, L. (2017). Animal and cellular models of familial dysautonomia. Clinical Autonomic Research, 27(4), 235–243.


katie davis

Katie Davis, Ph.D. Engineering

Advisors: Dr. Robin Gerlach and Dr. Mathew Fields

Dissertation: Organic Amendments for Enhancing Microbial Coalbed Methane Production


1. Barnhart, E. P., Davis, K. J., Varonka, M., Orem, W., Cunningham, A. B., Ramsay, B. D., & Fields, M. W. (2017). International Journal of Coal Geology. International Journal of Coal Geology, 171(C), 69–75. 

2. Davis, K., Lu, S., Barnhart, E., Parker, A., Fields, M., Gerlach, R. (2018). Type and amount of organic amendments affect enhanced biogenic methane production from coal and microbial community structure. Fuel 211(1) 600-608.

Future Plans: Katie is finishing up her research and currently looking for postdoc positions.