MARY-ELIZABETH JOBSON, B.S. Mary-Elizabeth earned a B.S. in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida in the Spring of 2019. During her undergraduate career, she worked under Dr. Alfred Lewin developing therapeutics for retinal diseases before moving on to complete an internship at NASA’s Space Life Sciences Lab working with hypobarophile bacteria recovered from spacecraft in Andrew Schuerger’s lab. In her senior year, Mary-Elizabeth was an NASW fellow for the 2019 AAAS meeting, where she exercised her science communication and writing skills. After graduating, she worked as a lab technician at Rapid Genomics, a high-throughput genotyping lab, before joining the doctoral program at USF in the Fall of 2020. Her primary goals in the Shaw lab are to characterize the role and regulation of novel virulence factors in S. aureus.


STEPHANIE MARROQUIN, B.S., M.S.P.H. Stephanie earned bachelors degrees in Cell and Molecular Biology and in Public Health from the University of South Florida in Spring 2015. Upon graduation, she joined the Fall 2016 cohort in the USF College of Public Health for her graduate studies. She completed her MSPH degree from the Department of Global Health, with a concentration in global communicable diseases, in Spring 2017; performing research in the Shaw lab for her thesis work. She immediately rejoined the Shaw Lab as a doctoral student in Summer 2017, and continues her research on novel pathways that regulate virulence determinant production in S. aureus.

SHRUSHTI PATIL, B.S. Shrushti graduated with a BS in Microbiology and a minor in Psychology from USF in fall 2017. During her senior year, she volunteered in Dr. Sutariya’s drug development lab, formulating corticosteroids nanoparticles. After graduation, Shrushti continued her work in the Sutariya group, before moving to the lab of Dr. Limayem in the USF College of Pharmacy, studying the therapeutic effect of nanomicelles against biofilm formation in wastewater systems. Her curiosity for molecular biology led her to Dr. Yu in CMMB where she investigated the YSIRK/G-S signal peptides in MRSA using immunofluoroscent microscopy. Shrushti eventually made her way to the Shaw Lab, working with us as a lab technician in Fall 2019 before joining us as a doctoral student in Spring 2020. Her dissertation work focuses on the role of the Omega subunit in controlling RNAP stability and transcript selectivity.

Unfortunately, due to COVID, the Shaw Laboratory is unable to accommodate undergraduate students at this time. We are very much looking forward to welcoming undergraduate trainees back into our team as soon as it is safe to do so.

SARAH KENNEDY, B.S. Sarah earned a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida in the fall of 2016. During her undergraduate career she worked in the Shaw lab on the development of novel therapeutics from Actinobacteria. She joined the doctoral program in the spring of 2017, and currently performs her dissertation research on the identification and characterization of novel microorganisms from marine sources. Her primary goal is to use her new bugs to identify new drugs.



​​ANDREW FREY, M.Sci., Ph.D. Andy's passion for all things bacteria saw him graduate from the University of Glasgow in 2011 with a first class M.Sci in Microbiology. This was followed by a PhD at the University of Sheffield, where he worked in the Dental School with Dr Graham Stafford, investigating the sialidases of periodontal pathogens. During his time at Sheffield Andy competed in the Microbiology Society's Young Microbiologist of the Year competition, where he obtained first place in the prokaryotic division. Following graduation in early 2017, Andy's interest in virulence factors, how they act at the host-bacteria interface, and how these interactions contribute to infection led to him being awarded a Fulbright-USF postdoctoral scholarship to work in the Shaw lab investigating the host targets of S. aureus proteases using cutting edge proteomics techniques. He also has a medal that he is very proud of.

JESSIE ALLEN, B.S. Jessie received her BS in microbiology from Kansas State University in 2014. While there she worked as an undergraduate assistant in the lab of Dr. Stella Lee, studying signal transduction pathways in the neurodegenerative disorder known as Batten’s Disease. She spent the semester after graduation working fulltime as a Laboratory Assistant in Dr. Lee’s Lab while also volunteering as a teaching assistant. She joined the doctoral program at USF in Fall 2015, where her work centers on developing novel antibiotics targeting the ESKAPE pathogens, with a particular focus on antimicrobial peptides, and the eradication of biofilms. 



NATHANIAL TORRES, B.A., Ph.D. Nate developed a deep passion for all things science while attending Earlham College where he earned his B.A. in Biochemistry in the spring of 2012. As an undergraduate, Nate became a Ronald E. McNair Scholar which provided him the opportunity to conduct research at Earlham ultimately leading him to pursue his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University. At OSU, Nate worked under Dr. John Gustafson in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology investigating genetic alterations and cellular responses responsible for antimicrobial resistance in S. aureus. During his graduate studies, Nate was the recipient of several research awards including Best Graduate Paper for the 106th Oklahoma Academy of Sciences Technical Meeting. Nate earned his Ph.D. in the summer of 2018 and joined the Shaw lab where he is investigating the relationship between the RNA polymerase delta subunit and virulence factor gene expression.     

BROOKE TOMLINSON, B.S. Brooke received a BS in agricultural biotechnology from the University of Kentucky in 2015. While there she initially performed research on equine cytogenetics in the lab of Dr Ernie Bailey, before moving to the Department of Entomology, working for Dr Bruce Webb on insect virology. Upon graduating, Brooke worked as a research analyst at ParaTechs Corporation on projects enhancing baculovirus expression systems, and the use of modified viruses as control agents. She also found time to travel extensively through Europe, before gaining admission to the doctoral program at USF in Fall 2016. In the Shaw lab, Brooke works on a number of our sRNA regulation projects in MRSA, with a specific focus on virulence enhancing entities. 

JESSICA JACKSON, B.S. Jessica graduated with a BS in Microbiology and a minor in criminology from USF in the Spring of 2019. During her undergraduate career she worked in the Shaw lab alongside Jessie testing compounds for activity against the ESKAPE pathogens and their ability to eradicate biofilms. She rejoined the lab as a doctoral student in fall of 2019, working on the regulatory networks that control protease production in S. aureus.

EMILY FELTON, B.S. Emily graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Tampa in spring 2020, with a B.S. in Molecular Biology. During the summer of 2019 Emily participated in an REU at the University of Georgia in the microbiology and entomology departments. There she worked towards using the microbiome of kissing bugs to control the vector for Chagas disease. Emily joined the Shaw lab in fall 2020 as a doctoral student, working on furthering our understanding of protease regulation in Staphylococcus aureus.


Emilee Mustor, B.S. Joining Fall 2021!

Brendan Totzke, B.S. Joining Fall 2021!

LINDSEY "LES" SHAW, B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D. When Les was 13 he had major surgery to implant pins in his hip, correcting a growth defect. Unfortunately, as with a lot of surgeries, this resulted in a S. aureus biofilm infection caused by the indwelling pins that was not fully resolved until they were removed 5 years later. As such, Les has been in and/or around hospitals, bacteria, and antibiotics for a good portion of his life. This lead him to pursue a B.Sc. (Hons) degree at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK), which he obtained in 1999. For his honors thesis, he worked in the laboratory of Dr Richard James (now at Nottingham University, UK) performing a structure-function study of E. coli colicins. From there, he conducted his doctoral work in the laboratory of Dr Simon Foster at the University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK). Here he focused on the role of secreted proteases in the virulence of S. aureus - the bacterium that caused him so many problems early on in life. As part of his doctoral training he spent the winter of 2001 studying in the laboratory of Dr Jan Potempa at the Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Upon returning from Poland, and completing his PhD studies, he moved to the laboratory of Dr James Travis at the University of Georgia in fall 2002. Here he worked on the proteolytic enzymes of S. aureus, as well as those from a number of other pathogenic bacteria. In the summer of 2006, Les left UGA and moved to the University of Missouri-Columbia as a research assistant professor in the laboratory of Dr George Stewart, working on the quorum sensing systems of S. aureus. The following summer, in 2007, Les departed UMC, and joined the faculty of USF as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology & Molecular Biology. He served as departmental director of graduate studies from 2009 - 2018, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure during the summer of 2012, became a Full Professor in summer 2016, and was appointed departmental Associate Chair in the fall of 2019. He holds joint appointments in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the USF Morsani College of Medicine as well as in the Department of Global Health at the USF College of Public Health  Professionally, he became a permanent member of the NIH Bacterial Pathogenesis (BACP) study section in 2018, and was elected as a AAAS Fellow in 2019. As a result of those early years spent dealing with a S. aureus infections, and taking endless antibiotics, the Shaw lab appropriately works on the virulence mechanisms of this dangerous pathogen, whilst at the same time seeking to develop new antibiotics for the treatment of drug resistant bacterial infections.