Lab Updates


8-19. Brown lab presented at the annual Data Blitz for the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri. The goal was to present the labs research in a fun creative way to the rest of the department. We chose to reenact The Office.

8-19. Brown lab members Amelia Randich, Jacob Bouchier, and Gustavo Santiago-Collazo enjoy a day at the Missouri State Fair!

8-19. Brown lab grad student, Michelle Williams presents her research at the Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.

6-19. Brown lab alumna, Dr. Wanda Figueroa-Cuilan presents her research at the National ASM Microbe conference in San Francisco, California.

5-19. Dr. Pam Brown hoods newly graduated PhDs, Dr. Hedieh Attai and Dr. Wanda Figueroa-Cuilan.

5-19. Brown lab celebrates Dr. Pam Brown’s promotion to tenured associate professor!

4-19. The Brown lab celebrates after Dr. Wanda Figueroa-Cuilan successfully defended her PhD dissertation! Wanda will move to Baltimore, MD in August as a postdoc in Erin Goley’s lab at Johns Hopkins University.

4-19. Brown lab undergrad, Andrew Yowell, won first place at his Mizzou Life Sciences Week Poster!

2-19. The Brown lab celebrates as Hedieh Attai successfully defended her PhD dissertation! Hedieh will continue to her research career as a postdoc in the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics at the University of California, San Diego!

From left: Wanda, Chris, Michelle, Gustavo, Jacob, Hedieh, Matt, Pam


12-18. The Brown lab smiles with Santa at the Division of Biological Sciences’ Holiday Luncheon!

From left: Michelle, Andrew, Gustavo, Santa, Pam, Jacob, Hedieh

8-18. Wanda and Pam attend the Gordon Research Conference on the Plant and Microbial Cytoskeleton at Andover, NH.

8-18. Gustavo gets married in Puerto Rico!!!!! We look forward to welcoming his new wife, Sheila, to Columbia, MO!

7-18. Summer student, Jennifer Amstutz, presents her research on the effects of the carbapenem class of antibiotics on growth and division in A. tumefaciens at the Summer Undergraduate Research Forum.

7-18. Michelle and Pam attend the Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Stress Response in South Hadley, MA.

7-18. Hedieh attends EMBO Workshop: Viruses of Microbes in Wroclaw, Poland, where she hears the latest in phage biology and their applications. She presents her research on Agrobacterium phages.

 It’s a huge day for the Brown lab, as our first PhD student, Matt, successfully defends his dissertation! Matt will continue his career as a postdoc in John Walker’s lab!

The new Dr. Matt Howell at his defense!

5-18. The Brown lab attends Wanda & Eric’s wedding at Les Bourgeois Bistro! Congrats to the newlyweds!!!

5-18. We are proud to announce that our undergraduate researchers, Helen Blaine, Caroline Dunn, and Rebecca Piccolo, are now freshly minted Mizzou alumni! Congrats, Class of 2018!!! Can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the future!

The lab celebrated the end of the semester with dinner at Addison’s!

4-18. Congratulations to our wonderful graduating senior researchers.  Helen, Caroline, and Rebecca will all graduate with departmental honors in just a few weeks.  We will miss each of you and thank you for your valuable contributions to the lab!

Outstanding graduating seniors Helen Blaine, Caroline Dunn, and Rebecca Piccolo

4-18. Wanda Figueroa-Cuilan was awarded the Graduate Student Association‘s Outstanding Graduate Student Award! Wanda’s outstanding efforts as a researcher, mentor, and advocate for SACNAS and Mizzou merit this honor.  We are proud of you, Wanda!

Outstanding Graduate Student Awardee, Wanda Figueroa-Cuilan

4-18. Congrats to Helen Blaine who was awarded second place in the Molecular and Cell Biology Poster competition during MU Life Sciences Week.  As an undergrad up against grad students and post docs, this is a remarkable achievement.  Way to go Helen!

Life Science Week Winner, Helen Blaine

3-18. Brown lab hosts Erin Goley from the department of Biological Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. We took advantage of Erin’s extended stay due to winter storm Toby by having a lab lunch at Seoul Taco.

Brown Lab welcomes Dr. Erin Goley at Seoul Taco!

2-18. Undergraduate researcher Helen Blaine presents at a poster session following Chancellor Cartwright’s address on Research at Mizzou.

Helen Blaine presents her research to Chancellor Cartwright.

01-18. Gustavo Santiago-Collazo officially joins the lab!!! Welcome, Gustavo!

The lab enjoys beers, pretzels, and hot chocolate at Günter Hans.


12-17. Damian merged science and art during a lab visit!

Damian wishes you a very germy Christmas!

10-17. Brown Lab attends the Crown Gall Conference at Oregon State University and present their research.

09-17. Wanda, Pam, and Michelle attend the Great Wall Meeting in São Rafael, Portugal!

08-17. Hedieh presents her research at the Evergreen Phage Meeting in Olympia, WA.

Undergraduates Helen, Rebecca, and Jacob join the lab for the summer to do great science!

August 2017. Summer undergraduate students participate in the Egg Drop Challenge…and win!

04-17. Caroline and Kenya present their research at the Undergraduate Research Forum.


12-16. Sue Ann Flores graduates with her Masters in Biology and moves on to work at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, IL. Congrats, Sue Ann!

09-16. Brendan and Damian have fun with grad students during a lab visit!

Brendan and Damian being silly on Snapchat!

08-16. Brown Lab attends Matt & Lauren’s wedding!

Matt gets married! (Wife not pictured.)

05-16. Anna Brown is born!


9-15. Pam attending the Great Wall Symposium in Florence, Italy! It was a great opportunity to meet new colleague and exchange ideas.  The meeting, food, sightseeing, and food was fantastic!

8-15.  Brown lab participated in the campus-wide rally to support graduate students at Mizzou and nationwide.

8-15. Matt passed his comps!  Yay!  Despite what he might tell you, he answered lots of questions.  He doesn’t remember what actually happened during his exam.

8-15. The Brown lab was well represented at the Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages meeting in Madison, WI.  We had lots of fun and learned a lot too!

Brown Lab on the Terrace

Brown Lab on the Terrace at the UW Union

We had 5 posters presented during the meeting! Congrats to Matt on being a poster award finalist!

7-15. Courtney represented the lab at the summer Undergraduate Research Forum.  She did a great job representing the lab.  Thanks for joining us this summer Courtney.  You’ll be missed!

7-15. Pam went to Marine Biological Labs at Woods Hole, MA and presented a talk during the Microbial Problem Solving Mini-Symposium associated with the Microbial Diversity Summer Course.  I enjoyed the great weather and had a great time talking about our research with course faculty and students.

7-15. The Brown lab participated in the 3D Design Artist and Science Undergraduate Researcher Collaboration Project.  Courtney met with Artist Ben Cairns to discuss her project and he designed an art piece.  We were on-hand as the project was unveiled.  It was a wonderful experience to see Ben’s perspective our work!

6-15. Undergraduate research Courtney Buchanan was featured in the meet the researchers section of the June issue of Undergraduate Connections.  Take a look to learn more about Courtney and her take on the Brown Lab.
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6-15.  Pam represented the lab at the ASM conference on Prokaryotic Cell Biology and Development.  Pam had the opportunity to work hard and play hard while in DC to attend the conference!

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 Courtney and Pam attended the annual intern/mentor bbq to kick off Courtney’s summer in the Brown Lab.  Courtney spent most of her time playing with junior investigator Damian who asked Courtney to have a playdate in the future.

6-15. The Brown Lab welcomes Courtney Buchanan who joins us this summer.  Courtney will be working in the lab as an undergraduate researcher and is funded through the Math-Life Sciences Program.  We are excited to have Courtney work with us.

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5-15. Pam and Wanda headed over the KUMC to learn how to do some zymography.  We were able to detect peptidoglycan hydrolysis activity from A. tumefaciens lysates. Yay!  Thanks to Jeff Bose for hosting and helping us!

5-15. Ryan and Jeanette were presented with Divisional Honors at the Biological Science Award Banquet. Jeanette also received a medal at Honors Convocation during graduation weekend. We are proud of you!

Jeanette and Aliyah represented the lab at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Forum.  Way to go!

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4-15. Pam was nominated for an Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.  Thanks to the undergraduates who have worked to hard in the lab and made important contributions!

4-15. The Brown lab was well represented at Life Sciences Week with 5 posters on display!  Great job everyone!

image13-15 The Brown lab hosted Dr. John McCutcheon (pictured here reinacting Dr. Barbara McClintock’s famous way of entering her lab) during his recent seminar visit to the division of biological sciences.  Follow the link to learn more about the wonderful research that is going on the McCutcheon lab.

3-15.  The Brown lab is pleased to welcome doctoral student Michelle Williams.  Michelle recently decided to join the lab after completing rotations.  We are thrilled to have you join us!

2-15 Damian conducted his first experiment in the lab.  His hand have “germs”!


Pam was awarded the Purple Chalk Teaching Award. The award, established in 1974, recognizes teaching excellence of faculty members selected by the student body.  I am honored to have received an award from the students!  Learn more about the award and my teaching here.

1-15. One of the Brown lab’s favorite microbes, Prothecomicrobium hirschii, is on display in the Joy of Discovery sculpture in the Bond Life Sciences Center after being selected as a winner in the Joy of Discovery Image Contest.  The pictures don’t do the sculpture justice so if you are local, trek up the stairs to find our image at the top of the sculpture. We are pleased be a part of this wonderful intersection of science and art!  


11-14. Pam received a Richard Wallace Faculty Incentive Grant.  Thanks to the Mizzou Alumni Association for supporting our research!

11-14. Pam, Hedieh, Wanda, Sue Ann, and Catie headed to Purdue University in Lafayette, IN for the 35th Annual Crown Gall Meeting.  We had a great time learning more about Agrobacterium and its use in biotechnology! 

Brown lab at Crown Gall Meeting

Brown lab at Crown Gall Meeting

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Who says defrosting the lab freezers can’t be fun?!?!

9-14. Pam and Jeanette attended the Great Plains Infectious Disease Meeting here in Columbia.  What a great way to network with other bacteriologists from our region!

great plains disease conf

8-14.  The Brown lab welcomes new graduate students Wanda, Hedieh, and Sue Ann who are all starting this semester.  We are excited to have you work with us.

8-14. Pam, Matt, Jeremy, and Jeanette took the first Brown Lab road trip to Madison, WI to attend the Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages Meeting.  We enjoyed lots of great science and managed to have some fun too! 

7-14. Matt Howell received a travel grant from the MU Division of Biological Sciences to attend the 2014 Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages Meeting in Madison, WI.  Matt is excited to attend his poster in August.

7-14. Catie Vanhorn has joined the Brown Lab Team.  The lab is getting pretty full!

6-14. Congratulations to Jeanette Rimbey for receiving a travel award to attend the 2014 Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages Meeting from the MU Office of Undergraduate Research LS UROP program!

6-14. Pam attended the Gordon Conference on Bacterial Cell Surfaces in West Dover, Vermont.  It was a great meeting and I got lots of inspired ideas for our research program!

6-14.  The Brown lab welcomes Ryan Koch as an undergraduate student researcher and Jorge Durand-Heredia as a rotating graduate student!

5-14. Pam attended the American Society for Microbiology Meeting in Boston, MA where she was able to see a presentation by her undergraduate mentor, Edward Leadbetter.  Dr. Leadbetter received the 2014 DC White Research and Mentoring Award Laureate.  It was an honor to see Dr. Leadbetter again and have a chance to thank him once again for getting my career in microbiology off the ground! It was also great to reconnect with fellow UCONN alumni.


5-14. Congratulations to Brown lab undergraduate Anjaleque Bragg who received a Blackburn-Hesemann Scholarship at the Division of Biological Sciences 2014 Honors Day!

4-14. Jeanette Rimbey continued to impress with her poster presentations this semester.  Jeanette received Honorable Mention in the Organismal Biology category for her poster, titled “A candidate therapy to prevent infection by the tumor causing plant pathogen, Agrobacterium tumefaciens” during Life Science Week.  Jeanette also received Honorable Mention in Life Sciences during the Spring Undergraduate Forum.  Great job, Jeanette!2014_LifeSciencesWeek3 (2)    

3-14. Jeanette Rimbey did her part to educate our Missouri Legislatures about the importance of undergraduate research.  Jeanette had a great spot in the rotunda and did a great job representing, MU, the Division of Biological Sciences, the Interdisciplinary Plant Group, and the Brown Lab. Jeanette was even given a resolution by her representative! Way to go, Jeanette! me and the award

1-14. The nature paper on the evolution of bacterial cell shape was released as on Advance Online Publication.  Check out the publication here and get the scoop on the MU biological sciences website here.   


1-14. Congrats to former lab member Sue Ann Flores.  Sue Ann won the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) award at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students where she presented the work she did here in the Brown lab last summer.  She will receive a recognition travel award travel award to attend the ASPB meeting in Portland, Oregon in July.  Way to go Sue Ann!


12-13. Matt Howell is taking a leap of faith by joining the lab as my first graduate student…  We are very excited to welcome Matt back to lab next week!

11-13.  Once upon a time as a postdoc at IU, Pam convinced a grad student named Chao to work with her on an usual bacterium named Asticaccaulis.  That work has paid off with a great paper on the evolution of bacterial morphology accepted for publication in Nature!  Congrats to my former lab mate and first author Chao Jiang as well as Adrien Ducret and Yves Brun.  The Brun lab is on a role! I am thrilled to have been a part of this research.

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10-13. On October 4th, Pam and her husband Henry and son Damian welcomed the newest member of their family.  Welcome to the family Brendan Joseph!

9-13. Congratulations to Jeanette Rimbey who was awarded a Monsanto Undergraduate Research Fellowship to support her research on bacteriophage of Agrobacterium during the 2013-2014 academic year.  Way to go, Jeanette!

9-13.  Pam was featured in the Columbia Daily Tribune’s Ask a Scientist column.  Fourth and Fifth grade students from New Haven Elementary School asked “How do DNA and RNA work?” Check out Pam’s answer here.

9-13. Our article about using microbes as indicators of wetland health was featured in the Water Environment Federation’s WE&T Magazine.  Way to go! 

8-13. Matt did a great job representing the lab at the 2013 Data Blitz.  Thanks Matt!

8-13. Welcome back to undergraduate researchers Anjaleque, Caleb, Jeanette, and Sharad who will all be making great contributions to our research this semester.

8-13. The Brown lab welcomes graduate student Laura Arnold who is joining us for a rotation.

8-13. Pam is heading to the Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phage Meeting in Madison Wisconsin to present the lab’s work on polar growth of Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

7-13. Congratulations to Sue Ann Flores, Anjaleque Bragg and Jeanette Rimbey who all presented their work at the Undergraduate Summer Forum.  Thanks for all your hard work this summer.  You all did a great job!

6-13. Our review article on the consequences and advantages of asymmetric growth in Annual Reviews of Microbiology is avaliable on-line.  Congrats to my co-authors Dave Kysela, KC Huang, and Yves Brun!

5-13.  We welcomed Sue Ann Flores and Anjaleque Bragg as undergraduate summer interns.

5-13. Pam attended the General Meeting for the American Society of Microbiology in Denver, CO.

5-13.  Pam’s SEM of Prosthecomicrobium hirschii was selected as most popular in the microbiology collection in the 2013 ATCC Photo Contest.  Pretty cool!


5-13. Another paper from my days in the Brun lab has been published.  I am so happy to see my work work Zhe Wan and Ellen Elliot appear in Molecular Microbiology.

4-13. Pam served as a Visiting Scientist at Blue Ridge and Shepard Elementary Schools.  It was fun to talk with the students about microbes in our environment.

4-13. Thanks to members of Zack Hu’s lab who allowed me to work with them on a review article entitled “Towards the development of microbial indicators for wetland assessment.” published in Water Research.  I am really enjoying learning more about applied microbiology!

4-13. Pam gave a talk at the Saturday Morning Science Series entitled “Do bacteria age?”.  It was so much fun to see the public excited about the science going on at MU!

4-13. Liz Sockett from the University of Nottingham visited DBS to give a special seminar on “Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, the living antibiotic predatory bacterium.”  Thanks for spending time with us Liz!

3-13. Pam participated in the GK12 Science Safari Winter Wonderland as a Science Share Leader.  I had a blast teaching 4th and 5th grade students about “glow-in-the-dark” bacteria!

pam at safari

3-13. Our microscope is FINALLY here!  Yay!  It is finally looking like a lab around here!

1-13. Undergraduate researchers Jeanette Rimbey and Caleb Bussard join the team.  It is fun to see the lab growing!


12-12. Jeremy Daniel joined the lab as a research specialist.  His abilities in molecular biology and microscopy should help get some research underway!

mcontent12-12. Collaborating with chemistry groups was one of the best things I did in my post-doc! Check out our paper in Angewandte Chemie on the use of fluorescent D-amino acids to visualize peptidoglycan synthesis in living bacterial cells. Congrats to members of the Brun and VanNieuwenhze labs that worked on this project!

10-12. Would you believe that I contributed to development of a microfluidic device for synchronizing bacteria? Check our the newly published paper in Analytical Chemistry from the Brun and Jacobson labs here!

10-12. Undergraduate student Sharad Gami has joined me in lab to help get the lab experiment ready

9-12. Pam’s first day as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at MU.