Maude David

Assistant Professor, Departments of Microbiology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. maude.david@oregonstate.edu @Mo2Dav

Dr. Maude M. David's PhD work focused on environmental microbial ecology and next generation sequencing. After graduation, she became a post-doctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She studied the impact of climate change on different microbial systems, where she developed new computational tools for the analysis of microbial metagenomes. In 2014, she moved to Stanford School of Medicine, applying her biocomputing expertise to studying Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She looked at the impact of the gut microbiome on ASD, as well as evolutionary constraints on the human genes involved in this disorder. She joined Oregon State University as an Assistant Professor in January 2018, where she combines laboratory and computational techniques to unravel the underlying mechanisms of the gut-brain axis. She has a joined appointment in Microbiology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

 

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Christine Tataru

Christine Tataru received her Master's in Computer Sciences in June 2018 at Stanford University. She started her PhD in the laboratory in September of 2018, and is the recipient of OSU Provost’s Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. She has begun optimizing emerging machine learning algorithms to both denoise and extract meaningful information of massive sequencing datasets generated by the laboratory and the rest of the scientific community. Ultimately, she seeks to develop tools and frameworks to advance microbiome research, then use those tools to explore gut-brain axis phenomenon. Christine is also the recipient of the OMSI Science Communication fellowship which will teach her about science communication methodology and help her to invent a relatable, hands-on demonstration explaining the concepts behind her modeling work. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog Skye, listening to audio books and podcasts, and riding horses! You can find her blog here

 

Grace Deitzler

Grace graduated with a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Missouri University of Science & Technology in 2016. She joined the David lab as a PhD student in the spring of 2019 after a couple of rotations. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship. Grace has been instrumental in pushing forward the behavior testing with rodents, and our bee microbiome project. Among other skills, Grace's incredible capabilities in using the very last cm3 of nitrogen in the anaerobic chamber saved multiple days of labor for the all lab, and allowed her to extract over 80 samples just before Christmas. Outside of the lab, she is a co-founder and leader in the Art-Science club Seminarium, as well as a member of the Core Values Committee. You can follow her journey in science on Twitter at @dna_heligrace.

 

Caroline Hernández

Caroline Hernández graduated with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2020. In Fall 2021, she joined the David Lab as a PhD student and is now working alongside Sam Varada and Elizaveta Zhivaya to develop a method for consistently co-culturing murine enteroendocrine cells and vagal nodose neurons from primary tissue samples. Her research interests include investigating gut-brain axis signalling mechanisms and exploring the implications of diet and other environmental factors in modulating the gut microbiome, behavioral phenotypes, and host immunity. She aims to marry these interests in her future research.

 

 

 Nima Azbijari

Nima graduated with a B.S. in Cognitive Science with a minor in Computer Science from UC San Diego in 2018 and an M.S. in Computer Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2021. He joined the David lab as a PhD student in 2021. He has mainly worked on deep learning applications for genomics and his interests are in AI applications for computational biology. Specifically, his current interests are in applying current deep learning approaches for natural language processing to genomic data. You can follow him on Twitter @nazbijar.

 

 

 

Alexandra Phillips

Alex graduated in 2020 with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a chemistry minor from Oregon State University. She is was a lab technician in the lab for two years, and started as a master student in Fall 2020. She takes care of the mice colonies, performing behavior experiments and among other projects in the lab, she is assisting in the development of a microbial biosensor to be used for water quality testing. Her research interests include studying the microbiome in the context of human disease and neurodegenerative disease mechanisms. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family's horses, playing board games with friends, and learning to cook new foods.

 

Sam Varada

Sam is a first-year Accelerated Master’s Program candidate in microbiology and started in Winter 2022. She was accepted into the STEM Leaders Program upon transferring to OSU from Chemeketa in 2020. In 2021, she received the SURE scholarship for summer and fall research. Sam is interested in exploring the mechanisms of the gut-brain-axis and the immunomodulatory properties of commensal microbes. She is currently working alongside Caroline Hernandez with primary murine cell cultures to elucidate the relationships between intestinal enteroendocrine and vagal neuronal cells.

 

 

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Austin Martin

Austin graduated from a B.S. in Microbiology at Oregon State University in Spring 2020. He is was a member of the Honors College, and was the recipient of the College of Sciences' SURE fellowship (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) for 2018, and the College of Pharmacy Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship.  He has been working on analyzing public microbiome 16S datasets related to anxiety and its comorbid disorders. He is also developing online tools that will be used in a crowdsourced study on anxiety currently being implemented by the laboratory. Outside the lab, Austin is a member of the Oregon State Running Club and represents OSU in track meets during the spring. 

 

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHERS

 

 

Teminijesu T. Adewunmi

Temi is a senior studying Computer Science at Oregon State University and is a URSA Engage recipient for 2020. She is interested in bioinformatics and currently works as an undergraduate research assistant in the lab. She helps Sonica with her project by running Pfam-Sequences and getting the total number of sequences in a file. During her free time, she enjoys crocheting, reading, and baking.    

                                                                          

Maya Livni 

Maya is an undergraduate pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oregon State University. She is a member of the Honors College, a 2020 URSA Engage recipient, and a SURE recipient for Summer 2020. She has been learning how to take care of the mice colonies and assisting Priyanka and Annabel with their project by learning cell sorting and will soon learn DNA tissue extractions to assist in other ongoing projects. In her free time, Maya enjoys hanging out with friends, creating art, and doing outdoor activities.  

 

Elizaveta Zhivaya

Elizaveta is an undergraduate currently pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry and Biophysics with a neuroscience option at Oregon State University. She is a 2020 URSA Engage recipient and a SURE recipient for Summer 2020. She is excited about the gut-brain axis research being conducted in Dr. David's lab which inspired her to join the team. Elizaveta is helping take care of the mice colonies, assisting Priyanka and Annabel in cell culturing and cell sorting and nodose ganglion dissections. She will be learning how to perform mouse behavior assays and DNA extractions from tissue samples for other ongoing lab projects.