People

Students and Postdocs

Postdoctoral Researchers

Sheikh Mahatabuddin

Sheikh Mahatabuddin was born and raised in a district of Bangladesh named Bhola, a beautiful island with tremendous natural resources. He completed his B. Sc. and M. S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He then served as a lecturer of Chemistry at St. Joseph Higher Secondary School, Dhaka, Bangladesh for three years. After that, he enrolled at the Graduate School of Life Science, Hokkaido University, Japan with a Japanese Government Scholarship (MEXT). He worked in the Laboratory of Biomolecular Adaptation Science with Professor Sakae Tsuda on functional analysis and application of antifreeze proteins; these proteins have the ability to alter ice crystal morphology and growth kinetics to protect their hosts from freezing damage. He achieved his Doctor of Life Science degree on March 2017 from Hokkaido University. In the Van Deventer Laboratory, he is currently working in two areas in the lab. One thrust is in using genetic code manipulation to engineer noncanonical amino acid (ncAA) incorporation systems in yeast and the efficient incorporation of ncAAs with interesting side chain functionalities into proteins displayed on the yeast surface. Another area is the investigation of strategies for the potent, specific inhibition of metalloproteinases.


PhD Students

Ming Lei

Ming is from Rosemead, California. He studied Bioengineering as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley and previously worked in the Ryan Lab at UC Berkeley, DuPont Industrial Biosciences, and Bolt Threads. He is interested in bioinformatics and synthetic biology and is currently working on quantifying noncanonical amino acid uptake and incorporation in yeast.




Jessica Stieglitz

Jessica is from Honolulu, Hawaii. She attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, as an undergraduate, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering. While there, she pursued metabolic and protein engineering research in the laboratory of Mattheos A. G. Koffas. Jessica is interested in genetic code manipulation to engineer robust noncanonical amino acid incorporation systems in yeast.


Master of Science Students

Christopher Ghadban

Christopher was born and raised in Massachusetts. He attended Tufts University as an undergraduate where he received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a second major in Biotechnology Engineering. As a junior, Chris co-founded Tufts Synthetic Biology, an independent, interdisciplinary undergraduate organization, and led projects spanning developmental biology, molecular biology, and synthetic biology. Chris is currently interested in the development of multiplexed, paper-based screening with yeast display as a simple, robust, and high-throughput approach to affinity reagent production.

Haixing Kehoe

Haixing was born and raised in Moss Beach, California, a coastal town south of San Francisco. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering and a minor in Mathematics. At UCLA, she designed synthetic circuits to regulate cytokine levels with Professor Yvonne Chen. Haixing is currently interested in using yeast display to engineer the selective disruption of proteases that function in the tumor microenvironment.


BS/MS Students

Catherine Lessard
Kate is an undergraduate chemical engineering student interested in biological applications of chemical engineering. She is currently researching the inhibition of enzymes that play a significant role in the tumor microenvironment. She spent her junior year abroad at University College London in the UK, after having studied at Yonsei University in South Korea for the summer. Kate enjoys watching movies and improving her Korean language skills.

Undergraduate Students

Niroshan Anandasivam

Niroshan is an undergraduate student from Brownsville, Texas, a mid-sized town on the Gulf Coast bordering Mexico. He is pursuing a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University and will be working in the Van Deventer lab as part of Tufts' new Reseach Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer program. Niroshan will be working on using bioinformatic and experimental methods to analyze commonalities between previously and newly discovered antibody inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases.


Greg Berumen

Greg Berumen grew up near Dallas, Texas, and is currently a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering. Greg joined the group his sophomore year and is working on analyzing and improving noncanonical amino acid incorporation into proteins, using a yeast display system. Outside of lab, Greg enjoys exploring music and watching sports.




Jacob Lissoos

Jacob Lissoos is originally from the suburbs of Chicago and is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He is ecstatic to join the Van Deventer Laboratory. His research focuses on multiplexed screening with yeast display. When not in the lab, Jake enjoys designing sound for musical theater productions.




Laura Quinto

Laura Quinto is an undergraduate from Arlington, MA, and a Biochemistry major. She joined the Van Deventer Lab in November, 2015, when she began examining selective protease inhibition using yeast display. She pursued this research full-time as a Tufts Summer Scholar (summer 2016). This summer (2017), she is excited to be studying epigenetic events related to cancer in Bradley Bernstein's Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital through the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program. She looks forward to returning to the Van Deventer Lab in the fall to continue with her thesis research. She is also inspired by chemistry jokes. One of her favorites is, "The optimist sees the glass half-full. The pessimist sees the glass half-empty. The chemist sees the glass as completely full, half in the liquid state and half in the gaseous state."

Van Deventer Lab in May 2017