FALL 2021

Katie MacGillivrayis a doctoral candidate: Congratulations to Katie for passing her qualifying exams! Katie’s ambitious thesis proposal involves two microbial systems: one exploring yeast aggregation (cooperation) with co-advisor Will Ratcliff and the other studying the bacterial T6SS (conflict) in our lab. We are also delighted to announce that Katie was selected as one of two College of Sciences PhD students in the inaugural cohort of the InQuBATE training program! Read the news!

New lab members: Undergraduate Michael Nguyen enters the Hammer lab to conduct bench research after a spring semester participating with the group in remote lab meetings. Harini Narasimhan and Rakin Choudhury join the lab as MS bioinformatrics students.

Presidents Undergraduate Research Award: Congratulations to Sophia Kammann who received a PURA salary award to conduct her research project this semester. Way to go Sophia!


Paper on a new toxin published: Cristian’s paper describing a new broadly distrubuted Type VI toxin is published in mSphere! Read the story about the paper released by the College of Sciences here.

Summer ACE REU program: COVID led to a cancellation of the 2020 Research Experience for Undergraduate program in Aquatic Chemical Ecology, but we are back this summer with a cohort of 9 students on campus!  and in-person! The exciting summer program includes trips to Zoo Atl and the GA Aquarium (see pictures).

New lab members: GT Biology major Emma Cooper joins the Hammer lab with prior coursework under her belt including Intro Microbiology and also Brian’s Molecular Microbiology and Cell & Molecular Biology! Kameron Smith joins the lab for the summer as a member of the 2021 ACE REU cohort!

Returning to normal at GT: We are optimistic that lab activites begin to return to normal as GT modifies its COVID restrictions.


Graduation Day: Ashey, Daniel and Kate complete their BS in Biology degrees and walk in commencement on a beautiful Saturday morning at Bobby Dodd stadium on May-8. Each has future plans in the life sciences fields! Way to go!

Cristian defends his PhD: Congratulations to Cristian for successfully defending his PhD on March 24 to a packed virtual audience! Cristian will move across Atlanta to the lab of Joanna Goldberg at Emory University for his postdoc.

Teaching Assistant Awards: Sophia Wiesenfeld and Cristian are both recognized by the School of Biological Sciences for their teaching: Cristian as our department’s Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant, and Sophia as our Outstanding Undergraduate Student Instructor (see pictures)! Cristian is also the recipient of Georgia Tech’s Center for Teaching and Learning’s Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year Award!

New paper published: Our paper describing glucose-mediated resisitance to contact killing was accepted for publication in Nature’s Scientific Reports! This beautiful story by Cristian and Sophia W, with invaluable help from Gabi and Peter, was started by former lab member Holly Nichols now at UW-Madison. Excellent job!

2021 Suddath Award: Cristian is the recipient of GT’s 2021 Suddath Award for his “significant research achievement in the field of biology, biochemistry or biomedical engineering.” Cristian will be presented with an award, have his name engraved on a plaque in IBB, and gives a special research talk at the Suddath Symposium on January 28 2021! Way to go!