Professor Garg received a Bachelors in Engineering in Biotechnology from University Institute of Technology and Masters in Science from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. During her masters, she spent several months in Berlin, Germany while conducting research with Professor Marion Ansorge Schumacher at Technical University, Berlin as an DAAD Fellow. Garg obtained his Ph.D. in 2013 from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign under the direction of Professor Wilfred A. van der Donk and Professor Satish Nair. She then joined Professor Pieter C Dorrestein's research laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, San Diego. Garg joined the faculty at GeorgiaTech in 2017.
Dr. Olakunle A. Jaiyesimi is a Pharmacist from Nigeria. He obtained a Master degree in Pharmacognosy in 2015 from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and a PhD in 2019 from the University of Sao Paulo in Ribeirão Preto, Brasil under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Leonardo Gobbo Neto. Having studied the application of untargeted metabolomics to the discovery of bioactive natural products, he joined the Garg Lab in 2019 to study the chemical interactions between microorganisms and their hosts using metabolomics and transcriptomics approaches in coral reef diseases and human infectious diseases.
Andrew McAvoy is from LaBelle, Florida, and graduated with a BS in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida. After graduating from UF, he continued to work under Dr. Janet Yamamoto for a year and a half as a lab technician assisting with a pre-clinical vaccine trial for FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). He is currently a first year graduate student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD program. Andrew is interested in learning how to use analytical chemical methods to tackle complex biological problems.
Ipsita is from India and completed her Bachelors and Masters in Chemistry from IIT Kharagpur in 2017. Currently, she is a third year PhD Candidate in the Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD program and is working towards using a integrative ‘-Omics’ approach to study marine natural products in Agarwal Lab and Garg Lab. She is also interested in understanding how these bioactive molecules are naturally synthesized by the sponge host and it's associated microbes. She is excited to work on this harmonious integration of biology and chemistry.
Nikki Aiosa is from Jacksonville, Florida and graduated with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of South Florida. After graduating from USF, she continued to work for a startup biotech company as a lab technician assisting in developing disease-resistant citrus using CRISPR/Cas9 system. She is currently a first-year graduate student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD program. Nikki is interested in learning how to use analytical chemical methods to explore the complexities of the microbiome within cystic fibrosis patients.
Jessica Deutsch is from Naperville, IL, and graduated with a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame. At ND she worked on the detection of glycolytic metabolites and modifying membranes for protein purification under the direction of Dr. Zachary Schultz and Dr. Merlin Bruening. Jessica is currently a first-year graduate student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD program. She is interested in studying the small molecule mediated cross-talk between microbial communities in coral reef disease
Apurva Routhu is from Lawrenceville, Georgia, and she is pursuing a degree in biochemistry at Georgia Tech. She's always enjoyed studying chemistry and learning about how the world works, and she hopes investigating life's mysteries has a place in her future. Outside of science, she loves to read classic literature and to dance. Apurva is studying roles of small molecule natural products in coral reef disease and in Cystic Fibrosis-associated pathogens
Paxton Threatt is from St. Augustine, Florida, and he is a chemistry major with a Pre-Health concentration. His interest in chemistry stems from his curiosity in how the world operates on a molecular level. Paxton is currently examining the genotype corresponding to specific microbial interactions of bacteria strains derived from cystic fibrosis patients.
Gabriel Foster is from Cedartown, Georgia, and is currently pursuing a degree in Biochemistry. His interest in chemistry is a result of his love of nature and his curiosity to learn how it all functions. When he isn’t studying, you can usually find Gabriel writing or exploring nature.
Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program students
Leah Hampton, originally from Houston, Texas, is currently pursuing a degree in Chemistry at Emory University. At Emory, Leah serves as an undergraduate teaching assistant in an Organic Chemistry Lab where she assists students in understanding mass spectrometry among other concepts. Leah is thrilled to learn more about the uses of analytical chemistry and hopes to one day pursue a PhD as well as a JD to study intellectual property law.
James Westphalen is currently pursuing degrees in Marine Biology and Chemistry at Roger Williams University. At Roger Williams, James works in the Aquatic Diagnostic Lab to identify pathogenic bacteria in oysters. He is interested to learn about the process of carrying out research projects in chemistry. He hopes to pursue a masters degree in Marine Biology.
Thomas Cantrell is from Atlanta Georgia. He has a diverse background in research including work in prebiotic organic synthesis, astrobiology, microfluidics, and in situ cell culturing. He loves bringing his background in biochemistry, engineering and computer programming to the table while solving new and exciting questions in the field of small molecule natural product research. Moving forward, he would like to establish himself in this field and develop technical expertise that will facilitate a future in understanding marine microbial communities, bioprospecting of novel antibiotics, industrially relevant thermostable enzymes and other biotechnologies.
High School Interns
Kseniya Spikina is a current senior at the Wheeler High School Center for Advanced Studies. She has had a love for science since middle school, but her passion for biochemistry and biology stems from her classroom experiences at Wheeler. Her love for learning has inspired her to take several challenging courses, including Magnet Biochemistry, Magnet Chemistry, AP Biology, Post AP DNA and Genetics, and AP Calculus AB/BC. Outside of school, Kseniya has dedicated a large portion of her time to co-founding the club, Future Physicians of America, which aims to expose high school students to the medical field, while providing meaningful service-learning opportunities with hospitals, nonprofits, and assisted living centers. Her future plans include majoring/minoring in psychology and biochemistry. She works jointly with Armando and Katie in the Garg Lab interrogating microbe-microbe interactions.
David Fogg is from Minneapolis, MN. He is a senior Biochemistry major is currently in the process of applying to medical school. David also does Army ROTC, tutors and is an undergraduate TA. Currently, David is studying the metabolomic differences between clinically obtained and naturally occurring strains of bacteria.
Tyler Seladi was born & raised in Canton, Georgia. His major is biochemistry with a business option. Tyler is interested in studying the pharmaceutical side of chemical studies. Tyler is working to investigate the community interactions and the associated genotypes, chemotypes and phenotypes of the microbial isolates from the cystic fibrosis patients.