Lab Members

photo of L.Chen lab master studentsPhoto of L. Chen Lab undergraduates

LChen UG BART Microbiome Team 2016

Lily Chen, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (August 1998-present)

Dr. Lily Chen was trained as a molecular microbiologist and national certified clinical laboratory scientist (Taiwan).  Dr. Lily Chen received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the State University of New York School of Medicine in Buffalo in 1991.  She was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA (1991-1993), and with the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco (1993-1995).  She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont in Burlington before joined the SF State as a faculty member in 1998.  She is currently a Professor in Biology and Director of San Francisco State's Professional Science Master’s program (Master of Science in Biomedical Science, Concentrations in Biotechnology and Stem Cell Science).  Her research focuses on microbial gene regulation, pathogenesis and drug resistant mechanisms as well as public health outreach and science education.

Brinda Govindan, Ph.D. Instructional Research Collaborator (December 2014-present)

Dr. Govindan is currently a senior lecturer who teaches courses for majors and non-majors in microbiology and cell biology.  She is also the undergraduate microbiology lab coordinator and is an active participant in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Enhancement of Scientific Teaching program.  Her interests include developing curriculum and incorporating authentic research into undergraduate lab courses.  She has also participated in the ASM-sponsored Research Residency of the Biology Scholars Program.  Prior to joining SFSU, Dr. Govindan earned her PhD in cell biology from Yale University, conducted research as Damon-Runyon Walter Winchell postdoctoral fellow at UCSF, and worked in the bioinformatics industry.

Darleen Franklin, MSc., Instructional Research Associate (December 2014-present)

Darleen is the supervisor for Microbiology Teaching Lab Facility (BIS Facility) that provides support and training in sterilizer usage and bio-hazardous procedures for laboratory personnel and all research students in the Biology Department.  As a research microbiologist, with a M.Sc. Degree in Microbiology, she is known for her study on investigating bacterial content on the BART seats versus the MUNI seats in 2011.  This led to a front-page publication in the New York Times with public feedback that generated positive publicity for SFSU.  Her research has also included studying water samples in SFUSD, in collaboration with the NSF-funded Youth Radio of Oakland.  Work from this collaboration was published online in National Geographic in 2011.  She also tested the SFSU campus gym for drug-resistant microbes in 2006 and this investigation was reported in the campus newspaper (Golden Gate Xpress).  She was a collaborator and co-author on the public transportation study conducted in Portland, Oregon.   

Steve Flammer, Master Student in Cell & Molecular Biology (August 2014-present) 

Steve earned a B.S. degree in Neuroscience and Behavior with a minor in chemistry at UC Santa Cruz where he worked in the disease ecology lab of Dr. Marm Kilpatrick studying West Nile Virus prevalence in Northern California mosquito populations. As a Master's student in the Cell & Molecular Biology program at SFSU, Steve plans to examine factors contributing to persister cell resuscitation in Salmonella. After completing the Master's program, Steve plans to continue pursuing a career in public health research.  

Ryan Marder, Master Student in Microbiology (August 2014-present) 

Ryan earned a B.S. in Biology at California Lutheran University (CLU) and currently is a master’s candidate in Microbiology at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The main objective of Ryan’s research study is to determine the effects of streptomycin on the gut microbiome of the model organism Manduca sexta in junction with understanding the pathogenesis of bacterial sepsis in M. sexta. During his time at CLU, he conducted his own research project focusing on zoonotic transmission infections of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in domestic canines. After earning his master’s degree, Ryan hopes to earn a medical degree and become a practicing neurosurgeon at a research hospital.

Past Lab Members:

Beatriz Kowalski, Master Student in Microbiology (August 2013- December 2015)

Beatriz earned her B.S. in Biology from California Lutheran University (CLU) and is currently a Master’s candidate in Microbiology at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Beatriz has worked as an undergraduate researcher at CLU, studying zoonotic infections and antibiotic resistance. She has also worked as an REU Fellow at the University of Georgia (UGA) researching the growth rate of Salmonella using an rrn-promotor-YFP-reporter to correlate growth rate and fluorescent intensity. Beatriz plans to work in industry in research and development after completing her Master’s, and hopes to one day work for the CDC as a microbiologist. Beatriz will help to create mutants of S. Saintpaul, and will continue to conduct physiology experiments and invasion assays of cell culture systems, and collect data using confocal and electron microscopy.

Denny Wayne Paul, B.S. Microbiology (December 2014- March 2015) 

Denny Paul earned his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with modifications made towards clinical lab sciences from San Francisco State University. In the final semester of his undergraduate program, Denny began volunteering for the Lily Chen labs and continues to do so. He aspires to begin research within pathogenic bacteria and drug resistance factors while staying helpful to the research team.

Ruth Keoviphone, Undergraduate Senior in Microbiology (December 2014-May 2015) 

Ruth is a senior Microbiology student at San Francisco State University. She is interested in antibiotic resistant microorganisms and infection patterns of pathogenic diseases and hopes to one day become an epidemiologist. After completion of her Bachelors of Science, Ruth hopes to become a certified Public Health Microbiologist and pursue her Master’s degree.

Mindy Le, Undergraduate Senior in Microbiology (January 2015-May 2015)

Mindy Le is a senior at San Francisco State University majoring in Microbiology with a concentration in clinical lab sciences. She is interested in obtaining more knowledge and skills required for proper diagnosis and specialized treatment of pathogenic diseases. She hopes to use her knowledge to help develop new medications and preventative measures to contribute to the medical community. Mindy is also very interested in partaking in the usage of gene manipulations and protein signal inhibiters, to closely study diseases associated with genetic defects. Mindy is currently and undergraduate volunteer working in Dr. Chen’s Medical Microbiology research lab doing pathogenic studies involving microorganisms that cause foodborne illnesses and their increasing drug resistance to antibiotics. Upon graduation, Mindy plans to apply for the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program.

Lady Jane Pacaldo, Undergraduate Senior in Microbiology (January 2015-May 2015)

Jane is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology (Clinical Science track) at San Francisco State University.  She has been fascinated by the field of medicine, and would like to be a part of the challenging and evolving disciplines of laboratory science. She aims to help improve someone’s quality of life by becoming a member of health care team dedicated to providing accurate diagnosis, appropriate prevention measures and effective treatment of diseases. After getting her degree, Jane plans to apply to a CLS program in hopes of becoming a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the future

Raphael Feliciano, Undergraduate Senior in Microbiology (February 2015-May 2015) 

Raphael is a senior at San Francisco State University, soon to be graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology. The goal of Raphael’s participation in the lab is to further his knowledge with microbiology applications in biomedical and clinical professions, and to expand on his knowledge on various microorganisms. With his new skills and intelligence developed, he plans to pursue a career in the medical field where he can enjoy what he likes the most, helping people in need and finding solutions to aid them. Raphael plans on attending the Clinical Laboratory Science program which can help lead to his end goal of becoming a clinical laboratory scientist.

Man Wai Lee (Monica), Undergraduate Senior in Microbiology (February 2015-May 2015) 

Man Wai Lee (Monica) is a senior completing a science degree in the Biology department at San Francisco State University with a major in Microbiology. Monica wish to become a knowledgeable clinical laboratory scientist/researcher, who can do in depth studies about all pathogenic/non-pathogenic microorganisms, to develop improved, accurate diagnostic methods and solutions against them. Monica is interested in a career in the medical field, where she can not only apply her knowledge and learn even more but also develop new medications. To reach her goal, Monica plans to get into the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program.