Ellen AcostaPh.D. Joint with Jing Yan

Ellie received her B.S. degree from the University of Michigan where she studied microbiology and Spanish and completed her thesis on comparative genomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates. She then received her Ph.D. from Princeton, where she studied the skin microbiome using a mixture of microscopy, sequencing, and molecular techniques. She is excited to continue studying how bacteria live and grow in their native environments, and is a joint postdoc with Jing Yan’s lab. Outside of lab, Ellie enjoys playing with her dog, cycling, and knitting.

Kuldeepkumar Gupta, PhD. Kuldeep is a postdoc in the lab. He obtained his B.Sc. in Biotechnology from University of Mumbai, India in 20

08. Subsequently, he joined Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore,India foran Integrated Masters and Ph.D. program in the Division of Biological Sciences. In IISc, he worked with Prof. Dipankar Chatterji at the Molecular Biophysics Unit. During his doctoral studies, he studied the regulation of biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance, cell shape and cell division by nucleotide second messengers (p)ppGpp and c-di-GMP in Mycobacterium smegmatis. He is intrigued by the phenotypic heterogeneity exhibited by bacteria which is one the underlying causes of antibiotic resistance shown by bacteria. In the Rego lab, he is currently exploring the mechanisms governing the bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity using mycobacteria as the model system.

Celena Gwin, Graduate Student. Celena earned their Bachelor’s degree at Hofstra University. There, they spent time training under Nathan Rigel to learn about bacterial genetics and protein sorting and secretion in the outer membrane of gram negative bacteria. Currently, she is a graduate student in the Microbial Pathogenesis department hoping to learn about the fascinating aspects of asymmetrical cell division in mycobacteria.

Yao Lu, Graduate Student. Yao obtained her Bachelor’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. During undergrad she worked in Dr. Gong Cheng’s lab on how Dengue virus tackles and evades the immune responses of mosquitoes. Upon joining the Microbiology PhD program at Yale, Yao discovered the charm of bacteriology and microscopy (Yay!) and is now very excited to explore the single cell biology of mycobacteria using (and maybe developing) a variety of microscopy techniques.

Liam McDonough, Graduate Student. Liam received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Providence College, where he worked in Nicanor Austriaco’s lab on calcium homeostasis of the yeast endoplasmic reticulum. After undergrad, he trained as a technician in Richard Bennett’s lab at Brown University, working on mammalian gut colonization by the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans. As a graduate student in Microbial Pathogenesis, Liam is excited to learn about mycobacterial cell division and mechanisms that generate heterogeneity in a clonal population.


Jin Ho Park, Graduate Student. Jin Ho is a graduate student in the Microbial Pathogenesis track. He earned his Bachelor’s at Stony Brook University, where he studied the fimbrial assembly pathway of Porphyromonas gingivalis, under guidance of Dr. Sarah Alaei and Dr. David Thanassi. As a post-graduate, he studied lipoprotein trafficking and outer membrane biogenesis of Acinetobacter in the laboratory of Dr. Nathan Rigel.  In the Rego lab, he is super excited to investigate diversity in isogenic mycobacterial populations, learn advanced microscopy techniques, and is very happy to be a member of the team!

Hesper Rego, PhD. Hesper trained as physicist in both her undergraduate and graduate studies. She did her graduate work with the late Mats Gustafsson at UCSF and Janelia Farm. In his group, she developed a nonlinear form of Structured-Illumination Microscopy. Afterwards, wanting to explore a biological phenomenon she did her postdoctoral work with Eric Rubin at the Harvard School of Public Health where she became fascinated by the ability of genetically identical organisms to display different phenotypes. This phenomenon is especially important for the treatment of tuberculosis, a disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She is excited to lead a research group at the intersection of these two areas: the application of advanced light microscopy techniques to investigate the strategies mycobacteria use to survive the stresses imposed by the antibiotics and the host. In her spare time, Hesper enjoys gardening, cooking, and eating, while trying to convince her toddler that ketchup is not a food group.

Lin Shao, PhD. Lin is a research associate in the lab and splits his time between our lab and 3 others at the Yale School of Medicine. He obtained his PhD in the lab of John Sedat at UCSF. There, he worked with Mats Gustafsson, pushing structured-illumination microscopy into three dimensions. He went on to do postdoctoral training in the labs of Mats Gustafssson and Eric Betzig at Janelia Farm.  For the Rego Lab he is designing and building a custom SLM-based 3D SIM.

Jessica Sherry, PhD. Jess is a postdoc in the lab. She received her Bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Wesleyan University where she studied the ecological drivers of bacterial speciation in the Cohan Lab. She then completed her PhD in the Engel Lab at UCSF, where she showed that a single Chlamydia effector can induce specific, large-scale changes in host cell organization that facilitate pathogen growth without globally inhibiting host cellular function. Broadly, Jess is interested in discovering different strategies by which pathogens subvert host cell functions and evade host surveillance and/or clinical treatment. In the Rego Lab, she’s excited to use super-resolution microscopy to visualize individual mycobacteria across various stages of infection and learn what drives the observed variability in host-pathogen interactions during. She hopes to shed light (literally) on how different mycobacterial subpopulations escape antibiotic therapy and cause patient relapse

Former trainees

Wei Ng, PhD. Consulting, Boston, MA

Kasia Baranowski, PhD. Scientist, Zymergen.

Maikel Boot, PhD. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Ali Farinas. Undergrad, Amherst College.

Sam Zinga. MD/PhD student,  Harvard.