Lab Members

Stacey Kolar, PhD

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Stacey Kolar, PhD, obtained her doctorate from the University of South Florida in the lab of Lindsey Shaw, PhD. For her thesis project, Kolar studied the two-component system, nsaRS, in Staphylococcus aureus and the post-translational regulation of S. aureus virulence factors by secreted proteases. Her current research focuses on the role of bacterial hyaluronidases in immune evasion.

Sabrina Mueller, PhD

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Sabrina Mueller, PhD, completed her doctoral studies in the laboratory of Thomas Reinheckel, PhD, at the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research, at the University of Freiburg (Germany). In her graduate work, she focused on the role of endolysosomal cysteine proteases in the macrophage-mediated response to Staphylococcus aureus. As a postdoctoral fellow in both the Liu Laboratory and Underhill Laboratory, she currently investigates the impact of antibiotic treatment of methicillin-resistant S. aureus on the onset of inflammation.

Bethany Berg, MS

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Bethany Berg, MS, received her master's degree from University of California, San Diego in the lab of Judy Kim, PhD. For her thesis, she studied the metalloprotein, azurin, in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its properties as a biophysical model for understanding electron transfer processes in more complex systems such as ATP synthase and photosystem II. Her current research focuses on bacterial glycosaminoglycan lyases in immune evasion.

Li-Lin Liu

Li-Lin Liu, MD, PhD

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Li-Lin Liu, MD, PhD, completed her medical and doctoral training at the School of Medicine, at Zhejiang University. She studied mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance under the mentorship of Professor Yun-Song Yu. She is a trained infectious disease physician and her current lab project focuses on the role of hyaluronidase in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus pathogenesis.

Berenice Aguilar, PhD

Berenice Aguilar, PhD

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Berenice Aguilar, PhD, completed her doctoral studies in the laboratory of Young-Kwon Hong, PhD, at the University of Southern California. Her graduate work focused on determining the molecular mechanism by which Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus induces infection and oncogenesis. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Victor Nizet, MD, at the University of California, San Diego, she focused on exploring the molecular mechanisms by which choleratoxin inhibits Rab11/Sec15-mediated endocytic recycling, which has an important implication in cell barrier maintenance. In addition, she investigated the role of HIF-1 in modulating mouse innate immune responses when challenged with pneumococcus and MRSA. Her current research in the Liu Laboratory focuses on the adaptation of a humanized mouse model to determine the role of MRSA virulence factors in human disease.