Lab Members

Melissa Kendall, PhD

Melissa Kendall, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology

I grew up outside of Detroit Michigan, and received my undergraduate degree in French from Michigan State University in 1995. After college, I entered the Environmental Sciences and Resources: Biology program at Portland State University, where I did my dissertation work in Dr. David Boone’s lab. This research explored the physiology and ecology of microbes living in permanently cold, anoxic marine sediments and primarily focused on methanogens, the methane-producing Archaea, and their syntrophic interactions. After receiving my Ph.D. in 2006, I joined Dr. Vanessa Sperandio’s lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for post-doctoral training. During my fellowship training, I became interested in how EHEC integrates environmental signals to recognize a host environment and modulate expression of genes important for pathogenesis, and this interest remains the driving force behind the research in my lab. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology at the University of Virginia.

Naila Boby, PhD



Emily Byrd

Graduate Student

Emily grew up in Richmond, VA, and completed her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech.  Emily participated in undergraduate research for two years focusing on Clostridium perfringens. After graduating at VT in May 2020, Emily matriculated into the BIMS program in July 2020. She then joined the Kendall lab in early 2021. Her research focuses on host-microbiota-pathogen interactions. In her free time, Emily enjoys thrift shopping, reading, playing with her pet cat Grim, and making herbal tea blends.

Alexandra Cameron

Lab Specialist


Lindsay Mortensen

Lab Specialist

Lindsay received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Utah. She worked in a University of Utah research core as a lab technician, then moved to Virginia and joined the Kendall Lab in May 2022. Her research focuses on RNA binding proteins and their effect on EHEC virulence. When not in the lab, she enjoys yoga, drinking coffee, and listening to podcasts.

Katelyn Phan

Undergraduate Researcher

Rachel Tang

Undergraduate Researcher

Former Lab Members

Beth McKenney, PhD

Current position: Biologist,  The National Ground Intelligence Center

CJ Anderson, PhD

Postdoc, Ravichandran lab, University of Gent

David Clark

Current position: EHS officer, UVA

Debi Luzader, PhD

Current position: Scientist, FDA

Laura Gonyar, PhD

Current position:  Research Scientist, Department of Pediatrics, UVA

Hallie Rauch, MSc

Current position: Engineer, Epic Systems

Carol Rowley, MD, PhD

Current position: Pediatrics Resident, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

John Satkovich

Current position: Scientist, biotech company in the Charlottesville area.

Brooke Sauder, PhD

Current position: Scientist, Locus Biosciences

Former Undergraduate Trainees

Marina Girgis

Nikita Amin

Sarah Smallets

Sean Noona

Manjiri Talegaonkar