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Meet Our Team

Dylan Shropshire

Dylan Shropshire, PhD

Assistant Professor (2023 -)

Dylan is a geneticist specializing in host-microbe interactions. He completed his postdoctoral work as an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montana under the guidance of Prof. Brandon Cooper, and earned his Ph.D. as an NSF graduate research fellow at Vanderbilt University with Prof. Seth Bordenstein. Dylan’s research primarily explores the mechanisms and diversity of bacterial influences on insect reproduction, using Wolbachia bacteria as a model system. Alongside his dedication to research, Dylan is deeply committed to mentorship and education, nurturing the growth and development of future scientists.

Helene Hartman

Laboratory Technician (Fall 2023 -)

Helene earned her Bachelor of Science in Genetic Engineering from Cedar Crest College. Following her graduation, she gained valuable experience working in both academic research at the University of Pennsylvania and pharmaceutical research at Biomol International. Subsequently, she joined the Science in Motion program based out of Cedar Crest College. In this role, she supplied cutting-edge science equipment and specialized laboratory instruction to teachers and students throughout the Lehigh Valley. Her work ignited a passion for education, leading her to continue teaching science for several years. However, her deep-rooted love for research and a desire to return to a lab-based setting eventually led her to Lehigh University. She is thrilled to be a part of the Shropshire lab team and is contributing to a deeper understanding of Wolbachia-host interactions.

Alphaxand Kaimba Njogu

Graduate Student (Fall 2023 -)

“Alpha” is a Ph.D. student in cell and molecular biology at Lehigh University. With a deep interest in the intricate relationships between hosts and pathogens, Alpha aspires to advance our understanding of microbial pathogenesis. He holds a master’s degree in Immunology from Pwani University, Kenya, where he conducted research on Pf-PHISTb as a target for naturally acquired immunity and its potential for blocking gametocyte transmission. His master’s was under the guidance of Dr. Martin Rono, Dr. Simon Muriu, and Dr. Sammy Wambua. As an undergraduate, Alpha studied the anthropogenic impact on Escherichia coli density in the Kenya Indian Ocean, collaborating with Dr. Sammy Wambua. In the Shropshire Lab, Alpha is delving into Wolbachia transmission dynamics, employing a range of tools from molecular, cellular, and evolutionary biology to contribute to our understanding of these complex relationships.

Lore Van Vlaenderen

Graduate Student (Fall 2023 -)

Lore is a Ph.D. student in cell and molecular biology at Lehigh University, with a strong background in molecular biology, cell line engineering, genomics, proteomics, and biotechnology. Her research journey began with a summer internship at CIBE-ESPOL in Ecuador under Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, where she learned to genetically engineer Indica rice plants while pursuing her undergraduate degree at University College Ghent in Belgium. She later earned her master’s degree in Forensic Science at Kingston University London, under the guidance of Dr. Carl Hall, studying how spectroscopy techniques can be used in crime scene analysis. After receiving her master’s Lore worked as a scientist at Charles River in England where she focused on early drug discovery. Joining the Shropshire Lab, Lore brings her passion for host-microbe interactions and their implications for agriculture, health, and the environment. She is dedicated to advancing our understanding of Wolbachia‘s capacity to manipulate host reproduction.

Arushi Tewari

Undergraduate Student (Fall 2023 -)

Arushi is an undergraduate student at Lehigh University, with a planned dual major in Molecular Biology and Planetary Science. She possesses a profound interest in microbiology and aspires to spearhead interdisciplinary research in this field in the future. As a long-term volunteer at King’s College Hospital in London, she has gained practical experience in modern medical practices while contributing collaboratively to patient care. Through the International Baccalaureate program, she initiated an independent research project that explored the relationship between intracellular zinc concentrations and prion development, as well as the impact of light wavelength variations on photosynthetic efficiency. Arushi is eager to integrate into a professional laboratory setting, where she aims to deepen her understanding of cellular and molecular biology, specifically in the context of Wolbachia-host interactions.

Fall 2024: BIOS 161, Supervised Research

Joyce Li

Undergraduate Student (Spring 2024 -)

Joyce is an undergraduate student at Lehigh University. She hopes to major in pre-optometry sciences and minor in psychology. Joyce splits her time between coursework, shadowing optometrists across specialties, and being an active member of the Break the Silence initiative, where she raises awareness on topics related to gender and health. Driven by a keen interest in human health and microbiology, Joyce has joined the Shropshire Lab to study how Wolbachia has become so successful.

Fall 2024: BIOS 161, Supervised Research

Lauren Roy

Undergraduate Student (Spring 2023 -)

Lauren is an undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in Biology and minoring in Health Medicine and Society. She aspires to become a Physician Assistant after graduating from Lehigh in 2025. Outside of Lehigh, she engages in healthcare experience by shadowing healthcare professionals at St. Luke’s University Health Network in various specialties. To deepen her research expertise, Lauren joined the Shropshire Lab with a specific interest in genetics and host-microbe interactions involving insects and Wolbachia. 

Veronica Jakubikova

Undergraduate Student (Late Spring 2024 -)

Veronica is an undergraduate student at Lehigh University, majoring in Biology with dual minors in Psychology and Health, Medicine, and Society. While on the pre-med track, she volunteers at St. Luke’s Hospital in the Trauma and Acute Rehab departments. In addition, Veronica serves on the executive board for Hawkathon, aiming to enhance fundraising efforts to raise money and awareness for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is also a mentor for the Mentor Collective and helps facilitate freshmen’s college transition and academic success. Veronica was a research assistant for the Children’s Cognitive Development Research lab at Lehigh but has been eager to gain research experience in microbiology. She is particularly interested in the development of diseases and their relationship to the microbiome and is excited to broaden her research scope. Veronica joined the Shropshire Lab because she is fascinated with the intricate mechanisms governing endosymbiont transmission.

Fall 2024: BIOS 391, Undergraduate Research

Shropshire Lab Alumni

Francesca Logozzo

Undergraduate Student (Fall 2023 – Spring 2024). Francesca worked in the Shropshire lab for a year and graduated at the end of Spring 2024. Francesca developed skills in Drosophila husbandry, molecular biology, and experimental design. She was the first to perform large-scale ddPCR assays in our lab, establishing protocols we will continue to use. She also developed procedures for an exciting area of research investigating how diet impacts Wolbachia-host dynamics. Spring 2024: BIOS 391, Undergraduate Research.

Sam Brende

Undergraduate Student (Fall 2023 – Spring 2024). Sam worked in the Shropshire lab for a year and graduated at the end of Spring 2024. Sam developed skills in Drosophila husbandry, molecular biology, and experimental design. His research contributed to our understanding of Wolbachia‘s impacts on host reproduction. Spring 2024: BIOS 391, Undergraduate Research.

Kaede Yoshida

TOMODACHI-STEM Intern (Spring 2024). Kaede, an undergraduate student from Waseda University (Japan), joined the Shropshire Lab through the TOMODACHI-STEM Women’s Leadership and Research Program. Kaede developed skills in Drosophila husbandry, molecular biology, and microscopy.

Eason Shen

Undergraduate Student (Fall 2023). Eason joined the lab for a semester as a senior. Majoring in biology and minoring in physics at Lehigh University, Eason developed skills in experimental design, protocol development, insect maintenance, and Drosophila testes dissections. Fall 2023: BIOS 168, Supervised Research.

YOU!

There will often be opportunities in the lab for new postdoctoral scholars, technicians, graduate students, and undergraduates.

Please take a look at the “Jobs” page for more information on how to get involved!