Lab Members

Michelle received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a graduate student in Eric Skaar's Laboratory at Vanderbilt University her thesis focused on the role of heme degradation in Staphylococcus aureus. During her post-doctoral fellowship in Dan Portnoy’s laboratory at UC Berkeley she studied the intricacies of virulence gene regulation in the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. The Reniere Lab at UW is investigating the mechanisms by which L. monocytogenes recognizes the host environment in order to activate its virulence program.​

Michelle received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a graduate student in Eric Skaar's Laboratory at Vanderbilt University her thesis focused on the role of heme degradation in Staphylococcus aureus. During her post-doctoral fellowship in Dan Portnoy’s laboratory at UC Berkeley she studied the intricacies of virulence gene regulation in the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. The Reniere Lab at UW is investigating the mechanisms by which L. monocytogenes recognizes the host environment in order to activate its virulence program.​

Michelle Reniere, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
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Lauren received her B.S. in Biology from Harvey Mudd College. During her graduate work in Andrew Camilli's laboratory at Tufts University, she studied pathogenesis of Vibrio cholerae through a molecular genetics lens. As a postdoctoral scholar in the Reniere lab, Lauren is applying her interest in bacterial genetics and pathogenesis to investigate how Staphylococcus aureus colonizes the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. When she's not in the lab, you're most likely to find Lauren at a bookstore, brewery, or tattoo studio.

Lauren Shull, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Maureen (Moe) received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Scranton and an M.S. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her graduate work in the laboratory of Gisela Storz at the NIH investigating the role of a regulatory small RNA (McaS) in modulating the ability of E. coli to transition from a motile to a sessile lifestyle. As a post-doctoral fellow in Pete Greenberg’s lab at UW she continued to study RNA-based regulation in the context of quorum-sensing in P. aeruginosa. After her post-doc, she worked in the Merrikh lab (also at UW) on antibiotic resistance in a number of bacterial species. In the Reniere Lab, Moe is studying the role of SpxA1 in L. monocytogenes virulence. 

Maureen (Moe) received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Scranton and an M.S. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her graduate work in the laboratory of Gisela Storz at the NIH investigating the role of a regulatory small RNA (McaS) in modulating the ability of E. coli to transition from a motile to a sessile lifestyle. As a post-doctoral fellow in Pete Greenberg’s lab at UW she continued to study RNA-based regulation in the context of quorum-sensing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. After her post-doc, she worked in the Merrikh lab (also at UW) on antibiotic resistance in a number of bacterial species. In the Reniere Lab, Moe is studying the role of SpxA1 in L. monocytogenes virulence. 

Maureen Thomason, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist

Rochelle received her B.S. at Oregon State University where she studied social evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Martin Schuster's lab. She is pursuing her interests in host-pathogen interactions in the Reniere Lab. Her thesis work aims to uncover host factors involved in the recognition and engulfment of L. monocytogenes by macrophages, and in expression of L. monocytogenes virulence factors during intracellular infection. Rochelle is an avid gardener and loves to spend her time outside of the lab with her hands in the dirt. She also enjoys hiking, camping, sketching, hanging out with her guinea pigs, and going to breweries and bars with her friends. 

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Rochelle received her B.S. at Oregon State University where she studied social evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Martin Schuster's lab. She is pursuing her interests in host-pathogen interactions in the Reniere Lab. Her thesis work aims to uncover host factors involved in the recognition and engulfment of L. monocytogenes by macrophages, and in expression of L. monocytogenes virulence factors during intracellular infection. Rochelle is an avid gardener and loves to spend her time outside of the lab with her hands in the dirt. She also enjoys hiking, camping, sketching, hanging out with her guinea pigs, and going to breweries and bars with her friends. 

Rochelle Glover
Graduate Student

Cortney received her B.S. in Biology from Northern State University. She completed her graduate work in the laboratory of Paul Fey at the University of Nebraska Medical Center investigating the role of carbon metabolism during Staphylococcus aureus infection. As a post-doctoral fellow in the Reniere Lab, she is continuing to study how bacterial metabolism impacts pathogenesis in the context of redox regulation in Listeria monocytogenes. Outside of the lab, you can find Cortney hiking with her two dogs, snowboarding, or baking sourdough bread.

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Cortney received her B.S. in Biology from Northern State University. She completed her graduate work in the laboratory of Paul Fey at the University of Nebraska Medical Center investigating the role of carbon metabolism during Staphylococcus aureus infection. As a post-doctoral fellow in the Reniere Lab, she is continuing to study how bacterial metabolism impacts pathogenesis in the context of redox regulation in Listeria monocytogenes. Outside of the lab, you can find Cortney hiking with her two dogs, snowboarding, or baking sourdough bread.

Cortney Halsey, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Monica received her B.A. in Biology from Amherst College in 2015. She completed her undergraduate thesis in Alexandra Purdy’s laboratory, where she studied the influence of quorum sensing on non-canonical virulence pathways in Vibrio cholerae. In the Reniere lab, she is exploring how L. monocytogenes survives oxidative stress through the stringent orchestration of transcriptional responses. Monica is particularly interested in using fluorescence microscopy to link population-level transcriptional analyses to observed physiological changes in single cells. Outside of lab, you can find Monica rock climbing, painting, or mothering a collection of houseplants.

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Monica received her B.A. in Biology from Amherst College in 2015. She completed her undergraduate thesis in Alexandra Purdy’s laboratory, where she studied the influence of quorum sensing on non-canonical virulence pathways in Vibrio cholerae. In the Reniere lab, she is exploring how L. monocytogenes survives oxidative stress through the stringent orchestration of transcriptional responses. Monica is particularly interested in using fluorescence microscopy to link population-level transcriptional analyses to observed physiological changes in single cells. Outside of lab, you can find Monica rock climbing, painting, or mothering a collection of houseplants.

Monica Cesinger
Graduate Student

Nicole (Nikki) received her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University in 2017. She completed her undergraduate thesis in Teresa Pawlowska’s laboratory, where she studied interactions between bacteria and the filamentous fungus Rhizopus microsporus. After graduating, she spent two years at the NIH as a Post-Bac studying the skin microbiome with Dr. Heidi Kong. In the Reniere Lab, she is interested in host-pathogen interactions during L. monocytogenes infection.​ Outside the lab, Nikki loves cooking, going to art museums, and downhill skiing.

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Nicole (Nikki) received her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University in 2017. She completed her undergraduate thesis in Teresa Pawlowska’s laboratory, where she studied interactions between bacteria and the filamentous fungus Rhizopus microsporus. After graduating, she spent two years at the NIH as a Post-Bac studying the skin microbiome with Dr. Heidi Kong. In the Reniere Lab, she is interested in host-pathogen interactions during L. monocytogenes infection.​ Outside the lab, Nikki loves cooking, going to art museums, and downhill skiing.

Nicole Schwardt
Graduate Student

Madison (Maddy) received her B.S from the University of California, San Diego in 2020 after attending Mira Costa College in San Diego. She completed her undergraduate research at the J. Craig Venter Institute under Dr. Sinem Beyhan, where she studied c-di-GMP regulatory genes and phenotypes that contribute to biofilm formation in Burkholderia pseudomallei. In the Reniere Lab, Maddy is interested in studying interactions between L. monocytogenes and macrophages during infection. Outside of the lab, Maddy enjoys backwards roller skating, baking, and taking multiple photographs of her cat.

Madison Sanchez
Graduate Student
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Shania is a senior at the University of Washington and will be receiving a BS in Microbiology as part of the class of 2021. She plans on exploring her interests in microorganisms by continuing laboratory work after graduation. Outside of the lab she enjoys baking, painting, bullet journaling, and playing with her pet rabbit, Oreo. 

Shania-Kate Leano
Undergraduate Student

Oluwasegun is a 4th year undergraduate of Biomedical Lab Science (Medical Microbiology) at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His research interests include host-pathogen interactions, and microbial genomics. In the Reniere Lab, he works with Monica on understanding the factor(s) responsible for the observed morphological changes in ∆spxA1. Outside these activities, Oluwasegun enjoys full-length documentaries and R programming.

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Oluwasegun is a 4th year undergraduate of Biomedical Lab Science (Medical Microbiology) at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His research interests include host-pathogen interactions, and microbial genomics. In the Reniere Lab, he works with Monica on understanding the factor(s) responsible for the observed morphological changes in ∆spxA1. Outside these activities, Oluwasegun enjoys full-length documentaries and R programming.

Oluwasegun Daramola
Undergraduate Student

Life Outside the Lab

First lab outing post-COVID19 vaccinations! - June 2021
Brittany defended her thesis - June 2020
Gordon Conference in CA - January 2020
Department Holiday Party - December 2019
Seattle Aquarium Outing - Summer 2018
End of Year Party - Spring 2017
Double Monica at Zoom lab meeting - May 2020
Seattle Aquarium Outing - Summer 2019
Lab Anniversary Happy Hour - January 2019
Visiting the New Lab at SLU - Summer 2018
End of Rotation Party - Spring 2016

Lab Alumni

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Brittany received her B.S. in Biology and Biotechnology Engineering from Tufts University, and she earned her Ph.D. in the Reniere Lab in 2020. Brittany is now a Science Teacher at the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle.

Brittany Ruhland, Ph.D.
Graduate Student 2016-2020
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Emma received a B.S. in Microbiology and a B.A. in English Spring 2017 at the University of Washington. She is currently working as a science writer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

Emma Bueren
Undergraduate Researcher 2016
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Mauna received her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Washington. During her 2.5 years in the Reniere Lab, Mauna earned authorship on 3 manuscripts. She is now attending medical school in Yakima, WA.

Mauna Edrozo
Research Scientist 2016-2018
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Michael is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Washington. He is expected to graduate in Winter 2021 with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and a minor in Bioethics. In his spare time he is working as an EMT and plans to attend medical school in the near future. He also enjoys hiking around the Pacific Northwest, and spending time with friends and family. 

Michael Ugarov
Undergraduate Researcher 2019-20

Interested in joining the lab?

Graduate students must be accepted to either the Microbiology or

MCB Graduate Program at UW before rotating in the lab.