Principal Investigator

Vanessa Hale MAT, DVM, PhD,, Twitter: @Hale_Microbes

Vanessa completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia and then taught high school for 3 years and obtained a Masters in Teaching (Secondary) from Western New Mexico University. She got a DVM PhD (Ecology, Evolution, Environmental Biology) at Purdue University studying the gut microbiome and health of wild and captive colobine monkeys. She then did a postdoctoral fellowship in the Mayo Clinic Microbiome Program examining the relationship between the gut microbiome and diseases including colorectal cancer and Clostridioides difficile infection (formerly Clostridium difficile). At Ohio State University (OSU), she draws on her background in ecology and human and animal health to study the microbiome and disease using a One Health approach. Vanessa also serves as a Co-Director of the Microbial Communities Program within OSU’s Infectious Diseases Institute.

Vanessa Hale CV

Research Associate

Christopher Madden, PhD,

Chris completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at The Ohio State University followed by the completion of his PhD in biochemistry from Arizona State University. His PhD work involved the study of oxygen sensitive enzyme catalysis and mechanisms from a variety of organisms. Chris then moved to the University of Cambridge as a postdoctoral research associate where he continued to investigate oxygen sensitive enzymes/microbes and expanded his knowledge of molecular biology. After a brief stint as a Laboratory Safety and Compliance Officer, Chris joined the Hale Lab in January 2018.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Morgan V. Evans, PhD,, twitter: @morgvevans

Morgan completed her undergraduate work in chemistry and her PhD in Environmental Science, both at The Ohio State University. Morgan’s PhD work focused on microbial transformations of organic chemicals during hydraulic fracturing operations in Appalachian shales. Now, as part of a collaborative team with both the Hale Lab and the College of Public Health, Morgan is focused on using high-resolution metagenomics to investigate the gut microbiome. Her projects range from analyzing the gut microbiome of humans from previously understudied regions to identifying links between the gut microbiome of dogs and bladder cancer.

Graduate Students

Ryan Mrofchak,

Ryan completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Youngstown State University in 2019 and joins the Hale Laboratory as a Master’s student. During his undergraduate career, Ryan focused his honors thesis project on environmental microbiology studying the levels of Esherichia coli and Enterococcus species within a lake known to be contaminated with sewage and determining if these bacteria have antibiotic-resistant genes. From this experience, Ryan is interested in using his prior experiences to explore gut microbiology and its implications on organismal health.

Kilmer Soares, MSc, or

Kilmer completed his bachelor’s degree in animal science at the Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil with an exchange program at The University of Rhode Island. He completed his master’s degree in Animal Sciences from the Federal University of Campina Grande. Currently, Kilmer is completing his Doctorate degree at the Federal University of Paraiba and Ohio State University, where he is developing his thesis. He works with gut microbiome characterization of native Brazilian bee species as well as the exposure effects of antimicrobials on gut microbial ecology.

Kilmer’s CV

Veterinary Students

David Minich, MAS,

David completed his undergraduate work at The Ohio State University, graduating in 2015 with a degree in Animal Sciences.  After graduation, David was employed as a primate keeper at The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden where he cared for over 75 different animals.  In 2017, David completed his master’s degree in Animal Sciences from North Carolina State University.  Entering his third year of veterinary school at The Ohio State University, David is excited to join the Hale Lab for a second summer of research on gut microbiota. David has worked on two main projects: Chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer and recurring enteritis in zoo lorikeets.

Hailey Curtis,

Hailey obtained a B.S. in Zoology, with a minor in Biochemistry, from Ohio State in 2017. She is currently a third year veterinary student interested in exploring veterinary research and specialty practice.