The Wright Lab

Principal Investigator

Software Engineer

Program Manager

PhD Student - DBMI

PhD Student - ISB

PhD Student - CPCB

MS Student - DBMI

Research Specialist

Abstract soft green background

Dr. Erik Wright

Principal Investigator

PhD Microbiology @ UW-Madison

M.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering @ UW-Madison

B.S. Electrical & Computer Engineering @ Cornell University

Erik's research integrates experimental and computational approaches to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Erik studies the strategies that naturally antibiotic-producing bacteria have evolved to discourage the build-up of resistance, how we might employ similar tactics in the clinic, and how some pathogens have adapted to overcome antibiotics while paying a minimal price for resistance. The goal of this research is to develop new strategies for treating infectious disease, ultimately turning the tide against increasing antibiotic resistance.

Abstract soft green background

Dr. Nick Cooley

Software Engineer

Dr. M Tomaszewski

Program Manager

Nick is a software engineer responsible for developing and maintaining the R package SynExtend. His work focuses on developing novel tools for detecting genes that perform the same function across diverse biological systems. Nick has an interdisciplinary background with considerable prior training and experience in wet lab environments. However upon completion of his PhD decided he wanted to be able to wear sandals into work as much as possible, and pursued a different path.

PhD Chemistry @ University of Missouri

B.S. Microbiology; BS Molecular Genetics @ Ohio State University

Monica is interested in simple solutions to complex problems. However, the problems that she tries to solve are: “What is the best way to shape the public facing image of the lab?” and “How can we be more efficient in generating and presenting our data?” As someone who collects degrees and certifications for fun, Monica has a large range of talents that allows her to help guide research plans, mentor students in experimental development, and know useless scientific trivia.

PhD Infectious Diseases & Microbiology @ University of Pittsburgh

M.S. Engineering Management @ Point Park University

B.S. Biology; B.S. Environmental Protection Science @ Point Park University

Abstract soft green background

Aidan Lakshman

PhD Student - DBMI

Nishant Panicker

PhD Student - ISB

Aidan is a doctoral fellow in the Biomedical Informatics Training Program at the University of Pittsburgh. His work involve developing tools for large-scale analysis of the evolution of genomes. The goal of his research is to show what can be gleaned from tens of thousands of genomes that cannot be learned from only having a few genomes.

B.S. Mathematics @ University of Central Florida

Nishant is a graduate student in the Integrative Systems Biology program at the University of Pittsburgh. His research goal is to decrypt how soil microbes communicate through a variety of small molecules, unraveling insights into their functional roles & ecological dynamics. Using a 3D printed platform for eavesdropping on interactions between bacteria, coupled with high-throughput mass spectrometry, Nishant aims to infer the context-specific language of microbial communication for a large panel of soil bacteria.

B.S. Biology @ Azim Premji University

Abstract soft green background

Shu-Ting Cho

PhD Student - CPCB

Shu-Ting is a graduate student in the Joint CMU-Pitt Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology (CPCB) at the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently studying the evolution of tandem repeats in genomes, which underlie many human diseases.

M.S. in Plant Pathology and Microbiology @ National Taiwan University

B.S. in Life Sciences @ National Central University

Sam Blechman

MS Student - DBMI

Sam is a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Informatics studying the use of electronic health records to inform prescribing practices related to antibiotics.

B.S. Biochemistry @ University of Akron

Abstract soft green background

Shania Khatri

Research Specialist

Shania is interested in the mechanisms of developing antibiotic resistance. Her main research focus is unveiling the mechanisms that drive Vancomycin resistance in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). As an aspiring physician, she is hopeful that her research will translate into clinically useful findings that directly benefit patients, countering the rise of drug-resistant infections.

B.S. Biology @ Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract soft green background

Lab Alumni

Research Assistant Professor

Ann Donnelly (2017-2020)

Research Specialists

Bradley Nanna (2019 - 2020)

Krizia-Ivana Udquim (2019 - 2020)

Allison Way (2020 - 2022)

Sofia Garman (2021 - 2022)

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Gabriela Sycz (2023-2024)

Caroline Birer (2018 - 2020)

Travis De Wolfe (2018 - 2020)

Graduate Students

Andrew Beckley (2018 - 2021)

Deepank Korandla (2017 - 2019)

Lauren Rost (2018 - 2019)

Undergraduate Researchers

Nithya Narayanan (2019 - 2020)

Adithya Murali (2017)

Summer Students

Vibha Reddy (2018)

Adelle Fernando (2019)

Alina Ahmad (2021)

Jordan Pater (2022)

Contact Us

437 Bridgeside Point II

450 Technology Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Department of Biomedical Informatics

University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine