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Meet Our Members

Kvitko Lab, Spring 2021

Principal Investigator

Brian Kvitko, Associate Professor

(706) 542-1282

Brian received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Cornell University in 2009 where he studied the complex genetic-basis of Pseudomonas syringae-plant interactions in the lab of Alan Collmer. He conducted postdoctoral research in the lab of Herbert Schweizer at Colorado State University on acquisition of host-derived iron sources and development of new genetic tools for select-agent human pathogens and Postdoctoral research in the lab of Sheng-Yang He at Michigan State University on the effects of PTI on bacterial virulence and the role of the microbiome on plant immune development. He started in the Department of Plant Pathology in the summer of 2015.  His appointment consists of 75% research and 25% teaching.  

  • Courses taught
    • PATH 8400 Host Pathogen Interactions
    • PATH 8290/8290L Phytobacteriology

Lab Manager

Amy Smith, Research Professional

(706) 542-3993

Amy started in the Department of Plant Pathology in the Fall of 2015.  She has provided vital work in the organization and design of our extensive lab.  Her extensive knowledge in microscopy and  qRT PCR have been a big help in developing the lab’s research foundation

Post-Docs

Gi Yoon (Gina) Shin, Postdoctoral Associate

Gina joined the lab in Fall 2020.  Gina received her PhD in Microbiology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.  She is conducting pathogenomics and genetics analysis of Pantoea species to characterize genes associated with onion virulence.

Graduate Students

Jovana Mijatović, Ph.D. Student

Jovana started at the department in Fall 2017. She received he Bachelor’s in Plant Protection at Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade in Serbia in 2017. Her research currently focuses on an old and reemerging pathogen of cotton- Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum, causing Bacterial blight of cotton. More specifically, her research will focus on tracking seed and seedling infection, molecular detection, and enhancing resistance in cotton with translational research.

Hsiao-Chun (Johnny) Chen, Ph.D. Student

Johnny started at the department in Fall 2020. He received the Master’s degree in Plant Pathology at National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan in April 2020. His research currently focuses on dissecting the regulation of the bacterial responses under PAMP trigger immunity, using Arabidopsis/Pseudomonas syringae pathosystem.

Sujan Paudel, Ph.D. Student

Sujan joined the lab in Fall 2020. He received an M.S. in Tropical Plant Pathology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is currently working on identifying the genetic determinants of virulence in the onion pathogen Burkholderia gladioli pv. allicola.

Hsiao-Hsuan Jan, Ph.D. Student

Hsiao-Hsuan started in the Department of Plant Pathology in Spring 2021.  He received his Master’s degree in Plant Pathology and Microbiology at National Taiwan University in Taiwan in August 2016, where he previously studied virus induced gene silencing in plants.  His current research focus on the functional analysis of the thiosulfinate tolerance genes in onion-associated bacteria, mainly using Pantoea ananatis as a system.

Philip Adepoju, M.S. Student

Philip started at the department in Summer 2022. He received his Bachelor’s of Agriculture (Crop production and protection) at Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria in 2017. His research focus is on development and characterization of homozygous cotton lines with EFR and xa5-like disease resistance traits against  Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum and characterizing the role of asymptotic infection in the spread of cotton bacterial blight .

Previous Lab Members

Postdocs

Haibi Wang      

Graduate Students

Shaun Stice     

Amelia Lovelace   

Donald Gillis   

Zach Mateen   

Spencer Stumpf   

Visiting Scholars

Stefanie De Armas        

Kathe Rivera-Zuluaga

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Brianna Stone   

Zia Williamson   

Nathan Batra   

Katie Briner   

Sam Lee     

Pelumi Daomi   

Samantha Ayoub   

Linda Nwosu   

Sydney Wagner   

Maddie Grove   

Elizabeth Umanah   

Research Interns

Henry Vencill   

Jenna Mathwig   

Rae Morris

Kasandra Velarde   

Nate Weinmeister   

Sandra Prickett   

Anaya Arnold