Lucas Morinière joined the Arkin Lab in April 2023 as a postdoctoral researcher in the EDGE project to work on phage-host interactions under Adam Arkin’s and Vivek Mutalik’s supervision. He completed his education at the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in France by earning his PhD in 2021 at the Microbial Ecology Lab of Lyon (UMR 5557). His thesis research was focused on the
ecology, genomics, and taxonomy of Xanthomonas hortorum pv. vitians (Xhv), the causal agent of the bacterial leaf spot of lettuce disease. As part of his research, he first conducted a thorough polyphasic taxonomical study which allowed to reshape the entire X. hortorum species. Then, he used transposon insertion sequencing (TnSeq) and comparative genomics to describe the in vitro and in planta essential genomes of this non-model plant-pathogenic bacterium. Afterwards, he pursued as a Temporary Lecturer and Research Assistant (ATER) for a year and used TnSeq to elucidate the molecular determinants of the interaction between Xhv and a new lytic phage. As part of the new NSF funded project, his present research in the Arkin Lab in collaboration with Mutalik lab focuses on uncovering the genetics of phage-host interactions by submitting large collections of Escherichia coli and coliphages to high-throughput susceptibility assays and high-throughput genetic screens (RB-TnSeq, DubSeq) based on a machine-learning-driven experimental workflow.
He will assist with phage-related projects. He has done biological research since high school and co-authored a paper on the effects of cannabinoids on the brain that was published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine in 2019. He is also involved with Berkeley iGEM, a club focussing on synthetic and computational biology.
Kerem is an undergraduate in the department of Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He will work with Drs. Arkin & Mutalik. The project a systemic approach to enrich, isolate, characterize, and engineer novel ssRNA phages that support the agricultural, environmental, and possibly health strategies.
Batu is an undergraduate in the Bioengineering Dept. Batu works with Dr. Vivek Mutalik. The project a systemic approach to enrich, isolate, characterize, and engineer novel ssRNA phages that support the agricultural, environmental, and possibly health strategies.
Nick Nolan was a Bioengineering and EECS sophomore undergraduate student in the Arkin Laboratory at UC Berkeley; his research topics were in viral engineering and control theory, though is always willing to delve into other topics of interest. As much as science is important to him, science education is equally so–thus he has organized the 2019 BioEHSC™, a Bioengineering High School Competition, the largest high school-specific competition of its kind in the world, as Junior Chair, and looks forward to serving as Senior Chair in the competition’s next annual iteration.
Luis was a 4th year undergraduate and aspiring graduate student majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. He joined the Arkin Lab in the summer of 2019 under the mentorship of Dr. Carim, with whom he studied phage-tail like bacteriocins, also known as tailocins. His first project encompassed designing vectors for the construction of recombinant tailocin proteins in order to investigate genetic determinants of killing specificity. He helped conduct genome-wide fitness assays to elucidate genetic factors of bacterial resistance to tailocins in non-canonical organisms such as Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas protegens. When not in the lab, you can catch him with a Nikon taking photos around the city, riding his bike along the marina, playing soccer at the park, or on a hiking trail. Outside of research, Luis is passionate about providing guidance, support, and information to aspiring and current students about the college application process and the college life, especially as it pertains to the experience of first-generation, low-income, undocumented/DACAmented, and LatinX students in higher education. To this end, he actively devotes his time to the Let’s Talk Universi-Tea Podcast – a project created alongside a group of his childhood friends and which is soon to be released.
Dr. Mutalik is a research scientist at Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division, Functional genomics Department, and Biological Systems and Engineering Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA; and Principal Investigator at Innovative Genomics Institute. Dr. Mutalik works in the area of synthetic biology and functional genomics of diverse microbes and phages. Dr. Mutalik is currently working towards establishing Berkeley Phage Foundry, a unified facility for engineering phages and phage-like particles for diverse applications within Innovative Genomics Institute, Berkeley. Previously, Dr. Mutalik lead the BIOFAB project, the world’s first biological design-build facility in Emeryville, CA, funded by NSF. Dr. Mutalik received his PhD in Chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof Carol Gross at University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Mutalik has three years of experience in the Biotechnology Industry in handling more than hundred kiloliter industrial fermentation units, bulk drug manufacturing and resource management. He has recently cofounded Felix Biotechnology, focused on accelerating the deployment of novel biotherapeutics targeting urgent microbial challenges in human health and beyond.
Kelsey Hern is a Microbiology graduate student in the Arkin Lab at UC Berkeley. Kelsey completed her bachelors in Biochemistry at Simmons college in 2016. She went on to work at the Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies at MIT designing nanotechnologies to understand, diagnose and treat infectious respiratory diseases. As a student in the Arkin lab, Kelsey is interested in using functional genomics approaches to better understand human respiratory pathogens and inform treatment. Outside of the lab, Kelsey works to develop strategies to address and dismantle racial inequities in STEM. In her free time she enjoys powerlifting, historical fiction and cooking Sunday dinner for her friends and family.