Pohlschroder Lab

Prokaryotic Cell Surface Biogenesis


July 2020

Stefan Schulze mentored two amazing students from Carver Engineering and Science High school, Morgan Bryson and Sultanah Harper who were part of the LENS program, While we only got to know each other online this summer, we are hoping to meet you in in person to show you or lab very soon!!!!

Stefan’s recently published work on the Archaeal Proteome Project (see below) as well as his discovery and subsequent characterization of rapid liquid biofilm honeycomb pattern formation in collaborations with Heather Schiller was featured in PennToday. The manuscript describing latter work was also submitted to BioRxiv. Four undergraduate students contributed to this story and Theory Rados from the Brisson lab at Brandeis University provided this beautiful Movie.

June 2020

Our Archaeal Proteome Project (ArcPP), an international collaboration between 5 laboratories across 3 continents was just published in Nature Communications. The idea for this project was to more efficiently use existing proteomics data by combining not only resources but also expert knowledge across different fields of biology, in order to gain a deeper understanding of archaeal cell biology.

Thanks and congratulations to Stefan Schulze, the postdoc in the lab who spearheaded this project, and collaborators who shared large amounts of proteome data, provided invaluable insight and carried out experiments.

After demonstrating the usefulness of our approach, we made our results available in a web-database ( We are eager to work together with more laboratories in order to extend our analyses to other archaeal species or even bacteria, harvesting the synergistic effects of a broad scientific community.


Heather, congratulations for passing your Prelims during a very difficult period and while writing a manuscript that was only tangentially related to your prelim proposal!


Congratulations Taylor for graduating from Carver High School of Engineering and Science and for receiving the “Linda H Ahmed Award” for being an exceptional female student in the STEM fields – see you in the Fall!!!!

May 2020

Congratulations Bienfait – it’s been an honor to have had you in the lab and we hope that you will stay in touch. I can’t wait to see the great things you will continue to contribute to Science and Society!


April 2020

Michiyah, congratulations for receiving the the Jumpstart for Juniors Research Fellowship – looking forward to working with you this summer – even if it’ll be virtual!


While the poster presentation at the Delaware Tristate Science Fair had to be cancelled, Taylor won 3rd price in the highly competitive Microbiology category for the paper describing her research project – CONGRATULATIONS. Oh, and that’s not it, guess who will be a Freshman at Penn this Fall 🙂 Taylor, we can’t wait to see you again on campus, but this time with and “undergrad Penn ID!

March 2020

Congratulations Taylor for winning the 1st price in the Microbiology category of the City-wide Carver Science Fair, qualifying for the Delaware Tristate Science Fair AND winning the Eastern Branch ASM price for finding super-interesting H. volcanii persister mutants. The project was perfect for you: while challenging you persisted!!!


December 2019

End of the semester lab lunch including Jack Bletz who just finished his rotation in the lab and Cristy Almonte who will start her rotation in January (third and fourth from right, respectively). Elbren Montuya, a freshman at Penn also joined the lab this semester.

Our manuscript “Lipid anchoring of archaeosortase substrates and mid-cell growth in haloarchaea” a great collaborative effort with Alex Bisson‘s lab (see his ArtA, PssA and PssD mid-cell localization movies above) was submitted to BioRxiv. 

September 2019

For the second time, Michiyah Collins presents her summer research at the Annual CURF Research Expo. Her project was also selected for a presentation at the upcoming family weekend – congratulations Michiyah!









July 2019

We keep the tradition going – this summer we have two high school students from Carver Engineering and Science – Taylor Bui as well as David Kouassi – help out in the lab. Taylor, one of the 2019 LENS  students will also continue working with us this Fall!













May 2019

Lunch at Cierra Green to celebrate the end of the semester and welcome Heather Schiller (right) a first-year Biology Ph.D. student, to the lab – looks like her presence even moves the clouds 🙂

April 2019

Georgio’s work “Limited Cross-Complementation Between Haloferax volcanii PilB1-C1 and PilB3-C3 Paralogs” was just published. These in vivo data complement in silico studies by Makanrova et al.

Congratulations to Evan Yang who will leave Penn for Harvard. Enjoy grad school in Cambridge and please stay in touch!!!!!!

Congratulations to Michiyah who received not one but two fellowships to work in the lab this summer, the Pincus Magaziner Family Research Award and the College Alumni Society Grant. Looking forward to having you in the lab this summer!!!!

March 2019

Congratulations to Sarah for being a semi-finalist at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and earning 4th place at the Carver Science Fair

November 2018

Haloferax volcanii is Trends in Microbiology’sMicrobe of the Month“!!!!

H. volcanii has emerged as an important archaeal model system. An extensive repertoire of genetic, molecular biological, and biochemical tools has been developed for this fast-growing, easily cultivated haloarchaeon, including expression vectors and gene-deletion strategies, including CRISPR. Its low mutation rate and ability to grow on defined media allow straightforward application of methods such as metabolic labeling, and the sequenced genome laid the foundation for transcriptomics and proteomics studies.

September 2018

Anthony Dilucido joined the lab as a Research Technician – welcome!


The FEMS Microbiology Reviews Thematic Issue on Archaea co-edited by Sonja Albers and Mecky, including our review on Archaeal Cell Surface Biogenesis is now published.


Bienfait received yet another award, the Seltzer Family Digital Media Award 2018 – felicitation encore une fois Bienfait!

Bienfait and Michiyah both presented posters about their summer work at the CURF Research Expo.

Zuha Mutan, an incoming freshman in the College joined the lab and right away helped Michiyah sort over 150 microscopes donated by Alpha and Omega Microscope Service in Maryland (thanks Peter Potter for delivering them on Saturday) for distribution to Philly teachers at our next Biology High School Professional Development session.


August 2018


Sarah Sawda, a rising senior from George Washington Carver Engineering and Science joined the lab for the summer as part of the LENS program. We are looking forward to having her in the lab this Fall as she is continuing the characterization of her hyper motile H. volcanii transposon mutants.

June 2018

Bienfait Igiraneza received the Pincus-Magaziner Family Undergraduate Research and Travel Fund from the College Alumni Society – felicitation Bienfait!

May 2018

Vagelos student, David Yang,  joined the lab just after finishing his sophomore year – welcome David!

April 2018


Interested in how Mecky Pohlschroder’s career path from a small German farm via UMass and Harvard to UPenn? Check out this month’s Omnia article.


Simi and our halophiles are featured in “The Power of Penn” and “We Grow Inclusion” videos.





Anjana Sundarrajan was invited to attend the GapSummit.


Bienfait Iriganeza received the Pincus Magaziner Family Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

March 2018

Simi Afolayan was accepted into the Summer Research Internship Program at the CHOP Pediatric Center of Excellence in Nephrology.

Michiyah Collins received a Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program Fellowship from the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.

February 2018

Farid Abdul-Halim’s characterization of the ArtA active site was published in Molecular Microbiology.

January 2018

Stefan was awarded a Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft postdoctoral fellwoship – congratulations Stefan!

December 2017

Lisa Valenti is moving on to her next rotation – thanks Lisa for great science AND art contributions 🙂

October 2017

It’s been great to have Mariana Costa, from the University of Mar del Plata in Argentina visit the lab for a month. We are excited about our ongoing collaboration on the effects of rhomboid proteases on pili biosynthesis and function.

We also had two new Masters of Biotechnology students, Anjana Sundarrajan and Kun Yun, as well as a a sophomore, Simisola (Simi) Afolayan and a freshman, Michiyah Collins, join the lab this Fall. Lisa Valenti, a first year Biology graduate student is rotating in the lab.

August 2017

Sending off Georgio Legerme to Med School at the University of Florida, Gainesville and Ronald Rodriguez to Grad School at Berkeley was a bittersweet event.

Laboratory Experiences in the Natural Sciences (LENS) students Tamera Stanley from George Washington Carver Engineering and Science High School spent the summer in the lab and screened nearly 4000 mutants for a motility defect. Her work was featured in the Penn News and she presented her mutants during the LENS poster session.

July 2017

Bienfait’s blog “A little closer to Burundi” about his incredible CASI internship at the Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, India featured in Penn News

igiraneza, aime bienfait

May 2017

Stefan Schulze (postdoc) and Precious Nwanwa (undergraduate student)  joined the lab – welcome!

Farid Abdul Halim received his Ph.D.

and Evan received his Bachelor – Congratulations Evan and Farid!

March 2017

Aime Bienfait Igiraneza, freshman in the college, joined the lab – welcome Bienfait!

Ronald Rodriguez just obtained an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship – Congratulations, Ronald!!!!! Read more here

August 2016:

Jonathan Stoltzfus started his Assistant Professor position at Millersville University after just a year as a postdoc in the lab!

…he managed to attend the Halophile Meeting in Puerto Rico just before leaving though!


Jonathan presenting his work on ArtA-dependent surface anchoring at the Halophile meeting.

July 2016:

Rianne Esquivel started her post-doc at the Wistar Institute.  Her acceptance to the Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting was just one of the highlights during her extremely successful time as a graduate student in the lab!

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-11-22-26-am screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-11-22-15-am

Rianne with Nobel Laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and fellow students in Lindau, Germany.  

June 2016:

Farid Abdul Halim, after completing the Teece Fellowship, allowing him to participate in the Woods Hole Microbial Diversity Course in 2015, now also obtained an SAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship.


Farid, together with fellow students sampling in Woods Hole.

May 2016:

Georgio Legerme received a NASA post-baccalaureate fellowship. He also presented his work on identifying and characterizing H. volcanii adhesion transposon mutants at the ASM meeting in Boston.

img_20160618_134847    img_20160618_133500

Also check out:

Astrobiology Magazine’s research highlight featured our type IV pili work “Appendages Help Microbes Survive Harsh Conditions


A bacterium using type IV pili to walk on a surface. IMAGE CREDIT: GERARD WONG, UCLA BIOENGINEERING, CNSI.

March 2016:

Joshua Kouassi, freshman at Carver High School wins 1st place and 2nd place in Microbiology at the Carver and Delaware Science Fairs, respectively with his project “One in a Million“, a transposon screen that allowed him to identify intriguing hyper motile H. volcanii mutants. Thanks Evan for training Josh!


August 2016:

Penn News featured Evan Yang in the article: “Studying a Salt-loving Microbe, Penn Senior Evan Yang Imagines Life on Mars.

img_20160618_135707 img_20160618_133548

Evan presenting his work, supported by an ASM URF fellowship, on H. volcanii motility transposon mutants at the ASM Microbe meeting in Boston.

Skip to toolbar