Dr. Karen Dierksen, Research Associate  RETIRED!

Education:  Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Ph.D., Microbiology, Oregon State University

My research in the Trempy Lab is focused on developing new strains of lactic acid bacteria of potential interest to the food, dairy and/or pharmaceutical industries.  Our original patent strain, Lactococcus lactis Ropy 352, which produces a unique exopolysaccharide, has been licensed commercially.




Dr. Cleo Davie-Martin, Postdoc   Accepted position in Copenhagen

Phone:  541-737-1839; Nash 334      
Education: Postdoc Department of Microbiology, Oregon State U.; Ph.D. Environmental and Analytical Chemistry; University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

My research investigates the microbial cycling of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the oceans under both controlled laboratory and field conditions using proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-TOF/MS).  PTR-TOF/MS allows for real time detection of VOCs at trace levels, through which we can determine the production and consumption rates pf VOCs by marine plankton and explore how these change under various conditions and at different stages of the bloom cycle.



Phone:  541-737-9664; Nash Room 514        
Education: Ph.D., Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University

C. shasta is a freswater parasite that is responsible for "gut rot" in salmonids.  Outbreaks caused by C. shasta have devastating effects in both wild and aquaculture settings.  I am using immunoprecipitation coupled with mass spec to characterize the extracellular proteome of this parasite.  My goal is to have a better understanding of how C. shasta senses its host and interacts with its environment and to ultimately develop therapies to prevent or control C. shasta outbreaks.


Dr. Tyrell DeWeber, Postdoc ACCEPTED POSITION IN GERMANY        

Phone:  541-737-1859; Nash Room 546         
Education: Postdoc Department of Microbiology, Oregon State U.
Ph.D. Wildlife and Fisheries Service, Penn State U.
M.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service, Virginia Tech; B.S. Biology, Liberty U. 

I am interested in understanding the effects of human activities on river systems and fish populations to help guide management and conservation.  River system alteration and pollution can result in stressful conditions and increased disease, eventually leading to widespread mortality of wild adult and juvenile fish.  I am working with Dr. Michael Kent in the Microbiology Program at Oregon State University investigating causes of prespawn mortality in Spring Run Chinook salmon in the Willamette River Basin.   



Dr. Brett Mellbye, Postdoc  Returned to Biochemistry
Phone: 541-737-; ALS 3125
Education:  Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology, OSU

I am interested in multi-species interactions and prokaryotic physiology in environmental systems.  My research focuses on bacterial cell-cell signaling (quorum sensing), nitrification, and microbial communities in soils.  My previous postdoctoral work focused on the role of acyl-homoserine lactone quorum sensing in nitrifying bacteria and constraint-based modeling of nitrogen oxide fluxes during nitrification.  My current research with Ryan Mueller and David Myrold is focused on protein turnover in forest soils as a bottleneck in the nitrogen cycle.




Phone: 541-737-3189; Nash Room 254
Education: B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Microbiology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Marie-Curie Incoming International Postdoctoral Fellow (Uppsala University, Sweden)

My research project focuses on understanding the interaction of SAR11 bacterial clade with dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the ocean. I am particularly interested in analyzing the evolutionary ‘hotspots’ within the genomes of divergent SAR11 strains in the ocean to understand how these genomic regions may play a role in shaping their metabolic capabilities and ultimately on how they break down DOM. I am also interested in evolutionary forces shaping these regions. We plan to carry out deep sequencing of single-cell genomic and metagenomic libraries that will be generated from an upcoming cruise to Bermuda as part of the BIOS-SCOPE research collaboration.



 Dr. Chris Suffridge, Postdoc

Phone: 541-737-3502; Nash 250
Education: Ph.D. Biology, University of Southern California

My research is focused on understanding how trace organic cofactors, such as B-vitamins, influence the structure and function of marine microbial communities.  Currently, I am exploring the connections between the cellular biochemistry and environmental availability of vitamin B1 and its biochemical congeners, and the ways that this coenzyme is able to control planktonic community dynamics. 




Fabian Martinez, Faculty Research Assistant--Now a Graduate Student in Pharmacy

Phone:  541-737-1846
Education:  B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, U. of Northridge

The work I am doing in the Geller lab involves testing PPMOs (peptide-conjugated phophorodiamidate morpholino oligomer) against multi-drug resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria. Molecular and biotechnology techniques coupled with in-vitro/ in-vivo is being utilized to test these PPMOs. Using antisense tech as a means to neutralize essential genes to kill the bacteria. 

MARC Scholar; Dexamethazone protects neonatal hypoxic eschemic brain injury via L-PGDS-dependent PGD2-DP1-PERK signaling pathway. PLOS One. Loma Linda.



Dr. Lixin Li, Faculty Research Assistant  went to Pharmacy

Phone:  541-737-1846 
Education: M.S. University of Southern China, School of Medicine
M.D. University of Southern China, School of Medicine

I am working on antisense effects on multi-drug resistance bacteria.  Basically, synthetic nucleotide analogs are utilized to target specific antibiotic resistant genes, and the effects are tested, using molecular and cellular biotechnology and rodent models.


 Virginia Watral, Faculty Research Assistant  RETIRED!

Phone: 541-737-1858

I have been involved with the study of the diseases of salmonids and zebrafish for the past 30 years.

Currently the focus of my research has been on the impacts of the diseases of zebrafish on experimental outcomes due to non-protocol induced variation and the development of specific pathogen free fish lines to aide in alleviating this problem.  I am also investigating various drug treatments and disinfectants for their potential to control zebrafish diseases. Most recently I have been working on transmitting and identifying the etiological agent causing intestinal tumors in zebrafish. In the past I have also conducted numerous field studies including studying the lifecycles and possible effects of parasites on endangered Klamath Lake suckers and determining a parasitic causation of skeletal deformities in Willamette River fishes. Most of these studies necessitate the need for a zebrafish disease facility which I maintain and manage.