Pohlschroder Lab

Prokaryotic Cell Surface Biogenesis


Meet the members of the lab! (And also the fun lab puns we all came up with)

Heather Schiller (Heatherferax schillcanii)

Heather is a fifth-year PhD candidate from the Biology Department in the School of Arts and Sciences. Her projects have focused on cell shape transition and biofilm formation in Haloferax volcanii. When she’s not in the lab, you can find her rowing on the Schuylkill river or going to concerts.


Priyanka Chatterjee (Petriyanka)

Priyanka is a third-year PhD candidate from the Cell and Molecular Biology: Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology (MVP) graduate group in the Perelman School of Medicine. Her projects focus on defining a system of cell signaling in H. volcanii. Priyanka loves trying out new restaurants  and she is the go-to person for food recommendations in Philly. She also enjoys organizing events and is Vice-Chair of the Biomedical Graduate Students Association (BGSA). She would also like to emphasize that we have a lab pun for our PI Mecky: Meckroscope.

Yirui Hong (Yiruiarchaeota)

Yirui graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. She then moved to the Pohlschroder Lab at Penn to explore the fantastic archaeal world! Now, she is a third-year PhD Candidate in the Biology Department in the School of Arts and Sciences. In the lab, Yirui works on the identification of lipoprotein biosynthesis pathways in H. volcanii. In her spare time, she loves reading (from novels, poems to philosophy and social science), going to the orchestra, musicals, and exhibitions. She is also looking for friends to hike together and explore Philly more!

Jacob Cote (JA-10 cob Rotor)

Jacob graduated from the University of Maine in 2022 with a bachelor’s degrees in Microbiology and Biochemistry. While there, he worked and published in the laboratory of Dr. Sally Molloy studying the bacteriophage of Mycobacterium. Now, he is a first-year Ph.D. student from the Cell and Molecular Biology: Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology (MVP) graduate group in the Perelman School of Medicine. His project focuses on characterizing the molecular signaling pathways involved in cell shape determination in H. volcanii. In his spare time, he likes reading, cooking, going to the orchestra, crafts and growing plants.

Criston Young (Cris-PR Cas9)

Criston was born and raised in Camden, NJ and is a current rising senior in the College of Arts and Science at Penn. He studies general biology in hopes of one day pursuing a degree in medicine. Criston also has a deep passion for music which is proudly displayed hammering it away with the drumline section of the Penn Marching Band. He is also a published scientific author of two two academic research papers conducted in the Pohlschroder Lab. “I thank God for all that I have and all to come, because I’d be nothing without him”.

Marco Garcia (Marcopipette Agarcia)

Marco is originally from Southern California before he moved to Philadelphia to attend Penn. He is a rising junior currently studying General Biology and Healthcare Management & Policy in the Vagelos Life Science and Management Program. He is also a part of Penn Benjamins, an organization dedicated to helping improve mental health on campus through peer counseling. He plans to attend medical school after undergrad and help underprivleged communities obtain better healthcare. Outside of the classroom, he loves to spend time with his friends and family, as well as play one of 5 instruments he knows.

Rebecca Sandler (Becctophotomer)

Rebecca is a proud Philadelphia native and was born and raised in West Philly. She is studying chemistry at the Community College of Philadelphia and will be moving to Drexel next year. She is on the pre-med track and wants to serve the people of the city as a doctor after medical school. In her time outside of the lab and school she loves cooking and baking for friends and family. She also loves gardening and is a grave gardener at the Woodlands.

Felicitas Tananibe (Bioinforlicitas)

Felicitas is originally from Ghana and has been living in Philadelphia for the past few years. She is currently a freshman at Penn. She became fascinated by the world of science after holding a brain in a cadaver lab for the first time at the age of twelve. Felicitas is now interested in studying genetics and sickle cell anemia, since it affects a majority of African countries. She plans to double major in biology and fine arts under the pre-med track. Outside of the classroom, Felicitas loves to paint, read novels, shop, and volunteer. She hopes to be a pediatric surgeon while sharing her love for the arts through her work. Fun fact, Felicitas can read a five-hundred-page novel in less than a day!

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