The team

Maikel Boot, PhD. Maikel obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Sciences at the VU University in Amsterdam. Afterwards, he did his graduate work with Wilbert Bitter and Christina Vandenbroucke-Grauls to study the causative agent of tuberculosis: the notorious pathogen known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. During this work Maikel studied the stress responses that bacteria deploy when treated with first-line antibiotics. Here, he got specifically interested in the stress response that mycobacteria mount when confronted with cell wall-targeting antibiotics. In January 2018 Maikel joined the Rego lab to continue working on mycobacteria. He is hoping to combine his experience in molecular microbiology with the super resolution microscopy techniques
available in the Rego lab to study the dynamics of the mycobacterial cell wall.

Kuldeepkumar Gupta, PhD. Kuldeep is a postdoc in the lab. He obtained his B.Sc. in Biotechnology from University of Mumbai, India in 2008. Subsequently, he joined Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore,India for an 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 her Bachelor’s degree at Hofstra University. There, she 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.

Wei Ng, Graduate StudentWei obtained her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh in Biological Sciences. As an undergraduate, she worked in Graham Hatfull’s lab studying a mycobacteriophage chromosome partitioning system and phage-encoded toxic small RNAs. She is a graduate student in Microbial Pathogenesis, and can’t wait to delve into bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity and mycobacterial cell biology, armed with a microscope (Hesper gives virtual high-five!)!

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 start 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.

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.

Sam Zinga, Postgraduate Associate. Sam is a recent graduate of Emory University where he double majored in chemistry and psychology. As an undergraduate, he worked in Dr. Susanna Widicus Weaver’s lab using spectroscopy to understand the chemistry of interstellar prebiotic molecules. Sam is currently a postbac associate in the Rego lab studying heterogeneity in the host-pathogen interactions of macrophages and mycobacteria.


Former trainees

Kasia Baranowski, PhD. Kasia defended her thesis in April of 2018 at Harvard. She and Hesper worked together over the several years trying to understand the oddities of mycobacterial growth and peptidoglycan.

Sam Zinga. Sam is an undergrad at Emory and spent the summer of 2018 in the Rego lab.

Ali Farinas. Ali is an undergrad at Amherst College who spent the summer of 2019 in the Rego lab learning all about secreting fluorescent proteins into the periplasm of mycobacteria.