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People of the Bazurto Lab

Jannell Bazurto, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.S. Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Florida Atlantic University

I am a bacterial physiologist with a rich background in using mutant analysis to understand cellular metabolism in model bacteria. I performed my thesis work at the University of Wisconsin with Diana Downs, where I studied metabolic integration of thiamine biosynthesis in Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli. During my postdoctoral work, with Christopher Marx at the University of Idaho, I integrated omics approaches into my work to characterize experimentally evolved mutants to understand the formaldehyde stress response in Methylobacterium extorquens.


Research Staff

Jan Kucinski, Postdoctoral researcher

I am a molecular biologist with experience using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model organism. I obtained
my M. Sc. from the University of Warsaw where I studied the role of histone modifications upon stress
in plants. During my PhD work in Andrzej Wierzbicki’s lab at the University of Michigan I focused on
studying RNA metabolism and regulation of gene expression in chloroplasts. In the Bazurto lab I am
focusing on understanding the interaction between methylotrophic bacteria and its plant host as well as
how these methylotrophs regulate gene expression in response to formaldehyde. In my free time I enjoy
taking care of (and staring at) my aquariums and spending time with my family.


Zak Hying, Graduate Student (MICaB)
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

M.S. Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
B.S. Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

A bacterial physiologist by nature I enjoy thinking about how bacteria acquire and use diverse carbon
sources. I gained experience in genetic approaches to study bacteria at the University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee in Mark McBride’s lab where I studied the connection between the Type IX secretion system
and gliding motility in Flavobacterium johnsoniae, and in Sonia Bardy’s lab where I studied the
chemotaxis and surface motility in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In the Bazurto lab I am leveraging my
genetics experience, combined with mutation analysis, -omics, and experimental evolution approaches
to understand the mechanisms M. extorquens uses to transition from multi-carbon to single-carbon
sources. Outside of the lab I am an avid cyclist, home brewer, musician and fan of Liverpool FC.

Deepanshu Singla, Graduate Student (MicE)






Undergraduate Students


Madison Shackelford, undergraduate researcher







Tyler Miller, undergraduate researcher









Dom Sofio, Undergraduate Researcher






  Uly Zigmund, Undergraduate Researcher






Lab Alumni

Research Staff

Chandler Hellenbrand

Chin Yi Loh

Jaye McEvoy

Undergraduate Students

Sarah Khaskel

Morgan Swanson

Alexa Peterson

Abigail Jackson

Jennifer Lorenzana

Rotation Students

Leslie Day (PMB)

Joseph Bravo (MicE)

Tony Zmuda (PMB)

High School Mentee

Jalen Nelson