Lab Personnel

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Jeffrey A. Lewis

Principal Investigator
Dr. Lewis is an Assistant 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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Amanda Scholes

Graduate Student

Amanda joined the lab in 2013 after earning her B.S. degree in Biology from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. Amanda is a Ph.D. student in Cell and Molecular Biology. She is studying the mechanisms underlying natural variation in stress resistance and the functions of stress-regulated non-coding RNAs.
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Rebecca Hardman

Graduate Student
Bekka is a Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. student. She joined the lab in 2013 after earning a B.S. degree in Biology from Drury University. Bekka is studying the role of post-translational protein modifications in the rapid response to stress.
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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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Manasa Veluvolu

Manasa joined the lab in the Fall of 2016 as an undergraduate researcher. Her current project is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying stress-responsive gene expression.
Image of Weijia Shi

Weijia Shi

Weijia is an undergraduate who joined the lab in 2018. Her project is to understand how acetylation regulates stress defense proteins.

Lab Alumni

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 and New York University.
Wilson Johnson
  • Will 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. 

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.
  • Currently attending PA School at Saint Louis University.
Jessica Koster
  • Jessie earned her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences in 2014. She studied the function of stress-regulated paralogs of metabolic enzymes.
  • Currently attending medical school at UAMS.
Cader Locke
  • Cader's project was to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying differences in stress resistance in wild yeast strains
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.
  • Currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison .
Sydney Pareti
  • Sydney graduate in 2017. Her project was to map differences in stress-activated regulatory cascades across diverse wild yeast strains.
  • Currently attending PA school at Mississippi College.