Current Team

Katharina Ribbeck
Principal Investigator
Christine Slocombe
Administrative Assistant
Brad Turner
Research Scientist

My primary interests are in mucin glycoprotein biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology and their involvement in diseased and applications to therapeutics.

Aggi Walsh
Technical Associate II

My research involves identifying and building libraries of glycans from mucins of various sources. And, looking at differences in the glycans present in normal and diseased mucous samples.

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.
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
she/her
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 studying how oligosaccharides on mucins are sensed by microbes and how they affect microbial behavior and virulence.
Chloe Wu
PhD student
NSF GRFP Fellow
she/her

My research aims to understand how salivary mucins influence the oral microbiota in health and disease. I am examining community assembly patterns within different mucus environments and studying how saliva is altered in disease.

Michaela Gold
PhD Student
she/her
My research explores how the native mucus environment alters the virulence of mucus-dwelling opportunistic pathogens.
Jade Bath
PhD Student
I am interested in developing methods to identify surface interactions between microbes and mucin glycans that mediate observed changes in virulence.
Jeff Hsiao
PhD student
NSF GRFP Fellow

My research is focused on how mucins tune immune activity in various mucosal environments. Specifically, I aim to study the mechanisms underlying the changes in immune cell functional states induced by mucin glycans.

Catherine Griffin
Undergraduate Researcher

My research investigates how mucins and mucin glycans affect the metabolome of pathogens like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the role they play in virulence pathways.

Diana Garibay
Undergraduate Researcher

My research goal is to understand how inhaled viruses are able to penetrate mucus barriers fast enough to avoid neutralization by mucociliary clearance. I am creating a computational model that simulates the movement of viruses through mucus. 

Lab Group Photos