Postdoctoral Researchers

Staff Scientists

Photo of Post doc Ben BolducBen Bolduc, PhD, Research Scientist

Ben joined the Sullivan lab in 2015 from Montana State University, where his biochemistry PhD focused on bioinformatic and wet lab approaches to study RNA viruses in Yellowstone National Park. In the Sullivan Lab, he has continued his bioinformatic training by assisting in the development of iVirus, a project to make commonly used viral metagenomic informatics tools available to the community. He also works on creating tools specifically for analyzing viral metagenomic datasets in terms of taxonomic and functional annotations where no references exist, as well as aiding in the study of novel viruses out of permafrost in Abisko, Sweden. Finally, his work extends to development of large-scale, collaborative databases to serve as a data repository and analysis tool for a wide array of complex datasets. Together, these projects seek to uncover the nature of viruses in natural ecosystems and ultimately their intimate relation with their hosts.


Ho Bin Jang, D.V.M., PhD, Research Scientist

Ho Bin has been focusing on network construction of viral genomes and translation of the patterns of network topology and connectivity into biological and evolutionary interpretation. His first postdoc position was in Rob Lavigne’s lab at the KU Leuven in Belgium, where he developed an expertise in applying network tools to study large scale virus populations for various bacterial hosts. On February 1st, 2016, he joined the Sullivan Lab where he studies phage-host interactions, particularly for cyanobacteria (i.e., Prochlrococcus or Synechococcus), by employing network tools combined with phageFISH and viral tagging.


Ahmed Zayed, PhD, Research Scientist

Ahmed Zayed, PhD student zayed.10@osu.eduAhmed joined the Sullivan Lab in Spring 2017 after he had finished his master and undergraduate degrees at Cairo University, Egypt. He is very interested in using multi-omics to study microbial communities and co-existing phages in their environments while focusing on phages’ modulation of community dynamics and hence the ecosystem biogeochemistry.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Katarzyna Danis-WlodarczykPostdoctoral Research Associate

Kasia’s PhD focused on characterization of lytic bacteriophages infecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa and their peptidoglycan and exopolysaccharide degrading enzymes. She obtained her PhDs in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven in Belgium and Biological Sciences, specialization Microbiology, from The University of Wroclaw, Poland. She joined the Sullivan and Wozniak labs in 2018, where she studies phage therapy, characterizing Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus phages.


Guillermo Dominguez Huerta, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Guillermo obtained his MSc in Advanced Biotechnology from the International University of Andalusia (Spain) and his PhD in Biology from the University of Malaga (Spain), where he studied the evolution of TYLCD-like begomoviruses following the theory of viral quasispecies. In October 2017 he joined the Sullivan lab, where he studies RNA viral communities from sea water, analyzing their diversity and their ecological implications in the ocean ecosystem.


Jiarong Guo, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Jiarong bio


Howard2Cristina Howard-Varona, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Cristina obtained her MSc in Biotechnology from the Polytechnique University of Valencia (Spain) and her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Arizona (USA). She is interested in understanding the regulation of viral infections in nature, in characterizing the regulation of understudied infections such as the extrachromosomal temperate or inefficient lytic phages, and in developing new environmental model systems to expand the limited diversity of known phage-host systems.  She uses a wide range of techniques, from the more traditional molecular biology and microbiology approaches to single-cell, bioinformatics and ‘omics (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics). Her current projects involve understanding regulation of viral infection efficiency in the Bacteroidetes bacterium Cellulophaga baltica, assessing nutrient dynamics impacts on phage-host interactions in a Pseudoalteromonas bacterium, and how we can understand the regulation of phage-host interactions to improve the development of phage therapy.


Akbar Adjie Pratama, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Adjie obtained his Ph.D. in November 2018 from Department of Microbial Ecology, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. His Ph.D. research focused on the role of bacteriophage in the ecology and evolution of fungal-interactive (soil) bacteria, Paraburkholderia species. In September 2019, he joined the Sullivan lab, where the main goal is to unveil the diversity and the ecological significance, e.g. in nutrient cycling and alter soil microbiome communities, of soil viral populations from IsoGenie’s near-decade sampling along a permafrost thaw gradient.



Lindsay Solden, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Lindsay bio


Christine Sun, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Christine bio


Zhiping Zhong photo

James Wainaina, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

James obtained his PhD in Biochemistry specialization genomics and computational biology in 2019 from the University of Western Australia (Perth, Australia). His research focus was on phylogenomics and evolution of viruses and insect vectors within smallholder agro-ecosystems in the western highlands of Kenya. His primary interests are in understanding the evolution of viruses and the potential drivers of this evolution, using Bayesian phylogenetic methods and next-generation sequencing (RNA-Seq, DNA-Seq). He will be joining the Sullivan lab in April 2019, to work on the Tara Ocean research project.


Olivier ZablockiPostdoctoral Research Associate

Olivier obtained his PhD in Microbiology in 2016 from the University of Pretoria (South Africa), where he studied the taxonomic and functional diversity of virus communities in hyperarid desert soils through metagenomics. In his first postdoc, he moved to the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) where he looked at virus diversity in a terrestrial hot spring for mining viral thermophilic enzymes with potential biotechnological applications. He also led the development and optimization of a viral tagging/cytometry assay for the isolation of virus-host pairs from environmental samples. In February 2018, Olivier joined the Sullivan lab, where his main research entails terrestrial viromics, which seeks to identify the diversity, roles and impacts of virus communities in shaping soil ecosystem dynamics such as carbon turnover, host mortality and evolution.


Zhiping Zhong photo

Zhiping Zhong, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Zhiping got his PhD in Microbiology in the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he focused on microbial ecology and bacterial taxonomy. He is interested in isolating and identifying bacterial strains, exploring the uncultured microorganisms, and investigating the microbial community structure, function and dynamics in the environment. He joined the Sullivan lab on August 1st 2016 to study microbial and viral ecology in the ice cores from selected depths deposited ~1,000 to ~1,000,000 years ago, which might help provide a window into how microbial life has changed over tens to hundreds of thousands of years.



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