Lab Members

  • Angela Gomez-Simmonds, MD, MS

    • Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center

    Dr. Gomez-Simmonds’ research interests entail understanding the molecular factors that potentiate the acquisition and dissemination of multidrug resistance among hospital-associated pathogens. She has been focusing on developing sequencing-based methods for investigating the epidemiology and transmission of a broad range of MDR gram-negative bacteria at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is particularly interested in describing the repertoire of resistance gene and associated mobile genetic elements in these pathogens. Additional research interests include identifying clinical risk factors and optimal therapeutic regimens for MDR gram-negative infections.

  • Nenad Macesic, MBBS

    • Fellow in Infectious Diseases

    Dr. Macesic received his MD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He subsequently completed his training and residency at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne and underwent infectious diseases training at leading Australian institutions and Columbia University Irving Medical Center. During this time he has developed a research interest in transplant infectious diseases, with publications on bacterial infections in bone marrow transplant recipients and novel therapies for resistant CMV. He also has an active interest in mycology, having contributed to the publication of Australian consensus guidelines for management of invasive fungal infections. In the future he hopes to conduct research into the use of novel molecular techniques for the diagnosis of infectious diseases.

  • Thomas McConville, MD

    • Fellow in Infectious Diseases
  • Medini Annavajhala, MS, PhD

    • Postdoctoral Research Scientist

    Dr. Annavajhala completed her BS in Biological Sciences and Environmental Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and went on to an MS/PhD program in Environmental Engineering at Columbia University as a Presidential Fellow. Her doctoral research and dissertation focused on the use of metagenomics and metatranscriptomics to investigate mixed microbial communities used for resource removal and recovery from wastewater and food waste. Her current research interests include the role of the digestive tract microbiome on clinical outcomes and colonization and infection with multidrug-resistant organisms in liver transplant and HIV patients. She is also interested in identifying genomic determinants of antibiotic resistance using next-generation sequencing and novel bioinformatics approaches.

  • Stephania Stump, BS

    • Lab Manager

    Stephania received her BS in biotechnology from Indiana University in 2011. She went on to complete an intensive program in medical technology at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, IN, where she later specialized in microbiology and became a lead clinical laboratory scientist. Her work as a research technician at Columbia includes studying the progression from colonization to infection of liver transplant patients with multi-drug resistant bacteria as well as the use of a novel compound to combat some mechanisms of carbapenem resistance.

  • Marley Giddins, BA

    • Technician

    Marley received her BA in Biology from Amherst College in 2016. Marley’s most recent project focused on bacterial quorum sensing mechanisms. By reconfiguring several operons, Marley helped her team modify naturally occurring inducible gene expression systems to promote novel phenotypes in E. coli. Marley is interested in using molecular cloning strategies to better understand gene expression and function in drug-resistant infections.

  • Sabrina Khan, BS

    • Technician
  • Eloise Austin, MD

    • Instructor of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • Samantha Ferguson

    • Undergraduate Student
  • Wenjing Geng, MD

    • Visiting Scientist