NSURP is a grassroots project started by a team of microbiologists who recognize the importance of summer research experiences and who want to support BIPOC students in finding their love of science in those projects.

Dr. Michael D. L. Johnson

Dr. Michael D. L. Johnson is a proud product of the Chicago Public School System and a single parent home (thanks mom). He received an A.B. in Music from Duke University and “smoothly” transitioned to obtaining his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After completing his dissertation in bacterial motility and attachment, he went to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Department of Infectious Disease to study how bacteria process nutrients, specifically metals, during bacterial infections. He then worked in the Department of Immunology studying newly discovered ways of how the body eliminates harmful pathogens. During his postdoctoral fellowship, he also founded Science Sound Bites, a science podcast for kids. Currently, Dr. Johnson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in the Department of Immunobiology where he studies mechanisms of metal toxicity in bacteria. In short, he’s killin’ it with copper. He is active in science outreach through events like DNA Day, The BIO5 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, in minority scientific affairs through the American Society for Microbiology, and online through twitter @blacksciblog.

Dr. David A. Baltrus

Dr. David A. Baltrus is an Associate Professor in the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona. He received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. studying Evolutionary Biology from the University of Oregon. He then received an NIH Kirchstein Postdoctoral Fellowship to study microbial genomic sequencing and the evolution of phytopathogenicity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (but somehow didn’t cross paths with Dr. Michael Johnson even though they spent time on the same campus). Dr. Baltrus’s lab has been active at the University of Arizona since 2011 (and where he FINALLY met Michael), with research focused on understanding how interactions between bacteria and pretty much everything else evolve. He is one of the hosts of the online (and completely free!) microbial seminar series Microseminar (@Microseminar). You can find him on twitter @surt_lab, where he tweets about a variety of science related topics but also shares stories about how his pigs, goats, and donkey constantly torment him.

Dr. Jennifer Gardy

Dr. Jennifer Gardy is the Deputy Director, Surveillance, Data, & Epidemiology, working on the Malaria team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Division. Her team works to ensure that national malaria control programs in endemic countries are better equipped to use data in their planning and decision-making. Before that, she was an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health and ran a research lab based at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. There, her work looked at how you can use genome sequencing as a tool to understand how outbreaks of infectious disease start and spread. Besides being a nerd for pathogen genomics and data, Jenn is very active in science communication and the microbiology outreach community. She currently co-chairs the American Society for Microbiology’s annual Microbe conference, and before moving to Chicago from Canada, Jenn hosted hours and hours of science documentary television. She’s also written a kids’ book about microbes, and has a second one on the way in 2021, all about the digestive system. You can find her on twitter at jennifergardy.

Lori Wieland

What would we have done without Lori this summer. From emails to regular mail, website management to more email. She has been amazing!