Lab Members

Dr. Irene Newton, PI: Dr. Newton’s interests are in mechanisms of host-microbe interaction (CV).


Research Associate: Dr. MaryAnn Martin. My current research focuses on how Wolbachia pipientis infects and is transmitted by its host, the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

Research Associate: Dr. Melissa Phelps. My current research focuses on understanding the function of type IV effectors of Wolbachia.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr. Jon Massey. I am interested in the molecular basis of host-microbe interactions, with a focus on the function of Fic proteins in the symbiotic relationship between Wolbachia and Drosophila.


Audrey Parish:Graduate Student. I am interested in the role microbes play in developmental plasticity. Particularly the effects of the microbiome on honey bee health and development, as the queen and worker castes develop from genetically identical larvae but rearing conditions alone modulate the phenotypic switch. @AudParish


Delaney Miller: Graduate Student. For nearly 300 million years insects have been engaged in a co-evolutionary arms race with entomopathogenic fungi. How microbial symbionts in insect hosts respond to this selective pressure is of great interest to me. By coupling in vitro and in vivo approaches, I try to elucidate the mechanisms underlying symbiont-pathogen interactions and their impact on host fitness. Currently I am studying how members of the honey bee microbial community interact with fungal pathogens. @helikalebacter

Tamanash Bhattacharya: Graduate student. I am co-mentored by Dr. Richard Hardy and Dr. Irene Newton. My research focuses on studying a unique, tripartite interaction between RNA viruses, the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia pipientis and their arthropod hosts. Wolbachia is presently being used to reduce transmission of mosquito-borne diseases around the world, but the mechanism of how viruses are blocked in these insects remain unclear. Identifying this mechanism has been the major focus of my thesis. @poly_microbial

  • Danny W. Rice: Research Associate
  • Lindsay Nevalainen: Graduate Student
Lab AlumniCurrent position
Melissa BlunckOffice of the Provost for Undergrad Research @IU
Dr. Freddy LeeTufts University
Dr. Kayla MillerDakota Wesleyan University
Lucas HenryPrinceton University
Rachel NiemiecUniversity of Chicago
Mairead O’Connor-
Kaeli BryantVanderbilt University
Eric SmithCoreBiome
Amelia LindseyUniversity of Minnesota

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