Robert T. Wheeler, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology

Ph.D. (2000) Stanford University, Developmental Biology
Advisor: Lucy Shapiro, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Training: Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research
Sponsor: Gerald R. Fink, Ph.D.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator of the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease

Robert Wheeler

Graduate students (Current Fall 2023)

Bailey Blair

(PhD candidate in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering)

Bailey studies how C. albicans evades immune attack in a zebrafish model of infection. 

Portrait Photo


Siham Hattab

(PhD candidate in Microbiology)

Siham studies how the interactions between C. albicans and the gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa affect susceptibility to antifungal drugs.

portrait of Siham


Gursimran Dhillon 

(PhD candidate in Biochemistry)

Gursimran studies how pattern recognition receptors mediate immunity to C. albicans using the zebrafish model system.

Portrait of Student


Nnamdi Baker 

(PhD candidate in Microbiology)

Nnamdi is studying how neutrophils respond to fungal infection. She uses the zebrafish swimbladder as a disseminated infection model for C. albicans.

Portrait of Student


Allie Conner

(MS candidate in Microbiology)

Allie studies bacterial-Candida interactions in vitro and in vivo

Undergraduate Students (Current Spring 2023)

Lindsey Stover; University of Maine, 2023 (Honors Thesis student)
Desiree Tanner; University of Maine, 2023 (Capstone student)
Kamri Sharp; University of Maine, 2023 (Capstone student)
Katherine Stevens; University of Maine, 2024
Meg Caron; University of Maine, 2025 (CUGR Fellow 2022)

Rotation Students

Sorry, not taking rotation students right now.

Former Lab Members

Graduate Students

MaryLynn FitzSimons (PhD, 2020) First position as post-doctoral fellow at Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

Linda Archambault (Waldron Fellow, PhD, 2019) Currently post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Anna Dongari-Bagtzoglu, University of Connecticut

Brittany Seman (PhD, 2018) Completed post-doctoral fellowship at West Virginia University, currently scientist at Batelle National Research Laboratory

Allison Scherer (PhD, 2018) Currently post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Michael Mansour, MGH, Harvard Medical School

Alex Hopke (PhD, 2016) Currently post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Daniel Irimia, MGH, Harvard Medical School

Kimberly Brothers (PhD, 2012) Currently Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Audrey Bergeron (MS, ) Worked at Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Currently Laboratory Scientist in the laboratory of Katie Motyl at Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Zachary Newman (MS, 2014) Currently employed at Nephron Pharmaceuticals, South Carolina

UMaine Undergraduate Students

Alexandra Albert (UMaine, 2009)  (MD-PhD, Yale University, 2018)

Ankita Chowdhury (UMaine, 2010) PhD, Emory University (2015)  Currently @ ICON plc, New York

Erica Hidu (UMaine, 2013)  (MD, Tufts University)

Erin Carter (UMaine, 2013)  (PhD, UMaine GSBSE Program, 2019)

Ashley Norum (UMaine, 2013) OD, Pacific University College of Optometry (2016)

Joshua Jones (UMaine, 2014)  (PhD, MIT, 2020)

Riju Shrestha (UMaine, 2015) Currently Technician at Rutgers University

Kirsty Moriarty (UMaine, 2015) (RN, Johns Hopkins)

Sony Manandhar (UMaine, 2016) Currently PhD student at UI-Urbana Champaign

Monique Theriault (UMaine, 2016) (PhD, Cornell University, 2022)

Dominika Tirzilova (UMaine, 2016) (PhD, University of North Carolina, 2021)

Phasathon (Thon) Itthipalakorn (UMaine, 2017 (Radke Fellow; industry)

Christian Zwirner (UMaine, 2018) (CUGR Fellow; MD student at Tufts)

Linley Wakeland (UMaine, 2018) (Radke Fellow 2015-2016, 2016-2017; industry)

Drew Brooks (UMaine, 2019) (Radke Fellow 2016-2017; MD student at Tufts)

Jane van der Schaaf (UMaine, 2019) (first job in biotech; currently MS student at Drexel University)

Anna Maria Dagher (UMaine 2019) (MS at UMaine; currently MD student at Duke)

Brian Elsemore (UMaine 2020) (currently in industry)

Jennifer Quezada-Loja (UMaine 2020) (currently in industry)

Lena Stasiak (INBRE Fellow; UMaine 2020) (currently Scientist at Northwestern University)

Benjamin Williams (INBRE Fellow; UMaine 2021) (currently Scientist at Boston University)

Emma Bragdon (INBRE Fellow; UMaine 2021) (currently in industry)

Nikhil Vaidya (Radke Fellow; UMaine 2022)


Mathilde Cosquer (Intern Summer 2011)

Gaetan Vaccari (Intern Summer 2012)

Hannah Archibald (INBRE Fellow, Summer of 2012)

Claire Chedeville (Intern Summer 2013)

Praneet Kang (INBRE Fellow, Summer of 2016)

Roxane Baudouin (Intern Summer 2017)

Alan Deduyer (Intern Summer 2018)

Orlane Mombled (Intern Summer 2019)

Amandine Stolz (Intern Summer 2022)

Tim Driscoll (Intern 2020)

Lekhya Kollu (Intern Summer 2021, Summer 2022)

Lindsey Stover (INBRE Fellow, Summer 2022)

Gillian McCarthy (Intern January 2019)