Lab Members

Postdoctoral and Visiting Researchers

MarkMark Farrugia was an MSU graduate student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology until 2015, and then a postdoctoral researcher with Luigi Puglielli at University of Wisconsin until 2019. He is now working on a joint project with Dr. Hausinger and Dr. Hu involving characterization of the enzyme mechanism and determination of protein structures for the ethylene-forming enzyme (EFE) from selected microbial sources, including the creation and analysis of variant enzymes.

SantoshSanthosh Gatreddi is a structural biologist who received his PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Hyderabad. Santhosh will carry out biochemical, mechanistic, and structural characterization of enzymes that synthesize and use the nickel-pincer nucleotide. He is jointly mentored by Bob and Professor Jian Hu in BMB.

Graduate Students

Joel RankinJoel Rankin graduated from Washington University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. His undergraduate research project involved studying the pathway used to covalently attach heme to cytochrome c in plant mitochondria and many bacteria. Joel’s current project focuses on the mechanism of lactate racemase and the pathway for biosynthesis of its Ni-pincer cofactor.

CaitlynCaitlyn (VanGelderen) Herr graduated from Kalamazoo College majoring in Biology and Chemistry. Her current project focuses on CsiD, an Fe(II)/2-oxoglutarate dioxygenase that hydroxylates glutaric acid. She also works with an Fe(II)/2-oxoglutarate-dependent ethylene-forming enzyme.

AikoAiko Turmo graduated from MSU in Molecular Genetics and Genomics & Microbiology in 2013, then worked as a laboratory research technician for four years with Prof. Cheryl Kerfeld in the DOE Plant Research Laboratory. She became a BMB graduate student in 2017 and her research currently focuses on characterization of LarC, a CTP-dependent cyclometallase that installs nickel in the nickel-pincer nucleotide cofactor.

JorgeJorge Nevarez is a chemistry student who is studying enzymes that utilize the nickel-pincer nucleotide complex, but are not related to lactate racemase.

Undergraduate Students

Stephanie Iorga, a Junior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, works with Joel on lactate racemase studies.

Abby Ortwine is a Sophomore in Lyman Briggs College majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She assists Aiko on studies of LarC.

Aisha Narayan, a Sophomore in Genomics and in Epidemiology and Global Public Health, assists with general lab cleanup.