Current Team

Katharina Ribbeck
Principal Investigator
Brad Turner
Research Scientist
Chief Technology Officer
My primary interests are in mucin glycoprotein biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology and their involvement in diseased and applications to therapeutics. Outside interests include music; singing with various Boston choral and church groups including the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and flute. I am an active member at the Roxbury Presbyterian Church.
Gerardo Cárcamo-Oyarce
Postdoctoral Researcher
I am interested in understanding how mucus influences bacterial behavior of pathogenic bacteria. I am particularly focused on studying bacterial interactions such as cell-to-cell communication and bacterial competition in mucus environment.
Miri Krupkin
Postdoctoral Researcher
My background is deeply rooted in structural biology and biochemistry of proteins, RNA and oligosaccharides. In the Ribbeck lab, I study the protective role of the mucus in health and disease. To this end, I combine approaches from biochemistry with material sciences. I am also devoted to promoting science education and outreach.
Tahoura Samad
PhD Student
NSF GRFP Fellow
Collamore-Rogers Fellow

I am interested in investigating transport of nanoparticles through mucus. In particular, I'm working on understanding how different particle parameters like size, shape and surface chemistry effect transport, and how this knowledge can be applied to improve drug delivery.
Jacob Witten
PhD Student
NSF GRFP Fellow
My main interests are in understanding physical and chemical interactions with mucus for substances ranging from small molecules to nanoparticles. I am developing new assays and computational tools for analysis of these interactions.
Kelsey Wheeler
PhD Student
NSF GRFP Fellow
NIH-BTP Trainee

The goal of my research is to understand how the mucus environment influences microbial physiology and community dynamics. In particular, I am interested in how mucins modulate virulence and ultimately affect interactions among commensal and pathogenic microorganisms.
Ben Wang
PhD student
NSF GRFP Fellow
I'm interested in understanding how pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa sense and respond to host-derived sugars, such as those found on mucins. In particular, my goal is to understand how different sugars modulate different behaviors such as virulence and persistence.
Caroline Werlang
PhD Student
NSF GRFP Fellow
My research is focused on discerning the mechanism by which salivary mucin reduces virulence traits in oral bacteria. We then use that knowledge to design synthetic polymers that can recreate some of mucin's beneficial effects.
Julie Takagi
PhD Student
NIEHS Trainee
The goal of my research is to understand the ways in which mucus alters microbial physiology and impacts microbial interactions. I am focused on investigating the oligosaccharides on mucins that are able to be sensed by microbes and the mechanism in which they effect microbial behavior and virulence.
Chloe Wu
PhD Student
I am interested in understanding how mucus barrier dysfunction is related to disease. To this end, I am developing tools to quantify changes in mucus permeability, which may elucidate infection mechanisms and uncover diagnostic markers.
Michaela Gold
PhD Student
I'm interested in exploring the bioactive properties of individual sugars from mucins and their potential uses in decreasing opportunistic pathogen virulence.

Lab Group Photos