Lab Personnel


Image of Jeffrey A. Lewis

Jeffrey A. Lewis

Principal Investigator
 
Dr. Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas. He earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from UC-Santa Barbara. His current research focuses on understanding the regulation and diversity of microbial stress responses.
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Tara Stuecker

Staff Scientist
 
Dr. Stuecker joined the lab in 2013. She earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying post-translational regulation of bacterial metabolic pathways in the laboratory of Dr. Jorge Escalante-Semerena. Prior to that, she was a technician at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, studying microbial diversity of spacecraft assembly facilities. In the Lewis lab, she is working to understand the complex genetic underpinnings of stress cross-protection in diverse yeast strains.
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Stephanie Hood

Senior Research Assistant
Stephanie joined the lab in 2020. She has an M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Arkansas, where she studied how the Drosophila lipin enzyme moonlights as a regulator of metabolic gene expresssion during starvation. In the Lewis lab, she is broadly working to understand the complex genetics of stress defense using high-throughput approaches.
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Crystal Crook

Graduate Student
Crys joined the lab in 2017 as part of the Cell and Molecular Biology doctoral program, after earning B.S. degrees in both Biology and Chemistry from the University of Arkansas-Monticello. Her current project is to understand the role of natural variation in post-transcription responses to stress.
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Julio Molina Pineda

Graduate Student
Julio is a Cell and Molecular Biology PhD student who joined the lab in 2019 after double majoring in Biology and Chemisty and minoring in Math at the University of the Ozarks. His current project is to understand the genetic basis of natural variation in various phenotypes relevant to stress and disease.
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Sonali Lenaduwe

Graduate Student
Sonali joined the lab in 2021 as a PhD student in Cell and Molecular Biology after completing her M.S. degree as a Fulbright Scholar here at the University of Arkansas. Her current project is to understand the genetic architecture underlying natural variation in stress resistance.
Image of Carson Stacy

Carson Stacy

Graduate Student
Carson joined the lab in the Fall of 2021 as a PhD student in Cell and Molecular Biology, and he's concurrently working on an MS in Statistics and Analytics. Carson's project is to understand how natural variation shapes individual differences in stress sensing and signaling.

Lab Alumni

Graduate Students
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Rebecca Kavanaugh
  • Bekka graduated with a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2019. Bekka's project was to understand the dynamics and functional significance of reversible lysine acetylation during yeast stress responses.
  • Bekka is currently the IACUC Program Director at the University of Arkansas.
Amanda Scholes
  • Amanda graduated with a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2019, where her project was to understand the myriad of viable strategies that genetically distinct individiuals use to protect themselves from stress. 
  • Amanda is currently a scientist at Signature Science (Austin, TX).
Syed Raza Mahmood
  • Raza was a Fulbright Scholar who earned a M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2017. Raza's thesis focused on developing high-throughput mutagenesis methods that are adaptable to wild yeast strains.
  • Raza is currently a doctoral candidate at New York University.
Wilson Johnson
  • Wil graduated with a M.S. in 2016. Will's thesis involved understanding the effects of "fracking" on microbial biofilm communities in Ozark streams.
  • Currently a teacher in Springdale, AR. 

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Undergraduate Students
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Jared Canonigo
  • Jared graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Spanish in 2021. His Honor's Thesis focused on understanding how acetylation regulates metabolic enzyme function during environmental shifts.
  • Jared is currently attending Medical School at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. 
Weijia Shi
  • Weijia graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Biology in 2021. Her Honor's Thesis focused on understanding how reversible lysine acetylation regulates protein activity and impacts fitness during heat shock.
  • Weijia is currently attending Medical School at UAMS.
Savannah Washburn
  • Savannah graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biology in 2021. Her Honor's Thesis focused on understanding the genomic changes that occur during laboratory domestication of wild yeast.
  • Savannah is a PhD student in Biology at Georgia Tech.
Manasa Veluvolu
  • Manasa graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry and Business Administration in 2019. Her Honor's Thesis focused on using natural variation in wild yeast strains to understand why different individuals are more or less susceptible to stress and disease.
  • Manasa is currently attending Medical School at UAMS.
Sydney Danielle
  • Sydney graduated in 2018. Her project was to map differences in stress-activated regulatory cascades across diverse wild yeast strains.
  • Sydney graduated from PA School at Mississippi College in 2021 and is currently a Physician Assistant at Children's Medical Center.
Cader Locke
  • Cader graduated with a BS in Biology in 2019. His project was to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying differences in stress resistance in wild yeast strains. 
  • Cader is currently a U.S. Navy Corpsman.
Emma Cox
  • Emma graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biological Sciences in 2016. Emma's Honor's Thesis focused on understanding the role of Mkt1p in post-transcription regulation of stress responses.
  • Emma graduated from PA School at Saint Louis University in 2020 and is currently a Physician Assistant at Swedish Medical Center.
Elizabeth McDaniel
  • Elizabeth graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biological Sciences in 2016. Her Honor's Thesis focused on how natural variation in ENA1 expression impacts resistance to high salt concentrations.
  • Elizabeth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2021 and is currently a postdoc in Ryan Ziels' and Steven Hallam's labs at the University of Vancouver. 
Jessica Koster
  • Jessie earned her BS degree in Biological Sciences in 2014. In the lab, she studied the function of stress-regulated paralogs of metabolic enzymes.
  • Jessie graduated with an MD from UAMS in 2019, and is currently doing a radiology residency at the University of Kansas.