Our Team


Brittany Belin, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

Brittany received her B.S. in biochemistry and philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and her Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, under the mentorship of Dr. Dyche Mullins. In 2015 she began to study plant-bacteria symbiosis as a post-doc in the laboratory of Dr. Dianne Newman at Caltech. Her laboratory at the Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Embryology, located on the Johns Hopkins University campus, opened in August 2020. She is interested in cell biology and symbiosis in all of its forms.

Email: belin at carnegiescience dot edu

Sarah Talamantez-Lyburn, M.S. - Lab Manager/Sr. Technician

Sarah received her B.S. degree in Biology from Texas State University and her M.S. in Biology from Towson University, with a focus in breast cancer and nanotherapeutics. Prior to joining the Belin lab, she studied pathways of hyperparathyroidism development using cellular and molecular techniques at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Sarah is currently using biochemical and genetic approaches to understand how hopanoid lipids regulate the functions and formation of the rhizobial cell envelope.

Email: slyburn at carnegiescience dot edu


Evan Lawrence, B.S. - Technician

Evan received his B.S. in Biology and Marine sXience from the College of William & Mary. As an undergraduate, he worked at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science studying how benthic microalgae affect nitrogen loads and the appearance of harmful algal blooms in the York River. In the Belin lab, Evan is establishing super-resolution microscopy techniques to characterize the biophysical properties of Bradyrhizobium membrane microdomains and their relationship to cell polarity.

Email: elawrence at carnegiescience dot edu

Huiqiao Pan, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Researcher

Huiqiao received her B.S. in Bioengineering from the Hebei University of Science & Technology and her M.S. in Plant Genetics and Breeding from China Agricultural University. In 2020, she received her Ph.D under Dr. Elizabeth Pierson in Molecular & Environmental Plant Sciences at Texas A&M University. She is interested in understanding how signals found in rhizobial membrane vesicles impact plant host immunity during symbiosis.

Email: hpan at carnegiescience dot edu


Matt Lubin, B.S. - Graduate Student

Matt graduated with a B.A. in biology and philosophy from Yeshiva University. After graduating, he joined the Yeshiva-based lab of Dr. Josefa Steinhauer, which focuses on phospholipid remodeling enzymes in Drosophila, and spent two years at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center studying the relationship between cancer cell metabolism and immune escape.

Matt is dedicated to furthering our understanding of how biological phenomenon emerge from molecular mechanisms and interactions. Matt is using genetics and quantitative microscopy to
uncover the contributions of rhizobial chemotaxis receptors to legume colonization in the rhizosphere.

Email: mlubin at carnegiescience dot edu

Ashley Shim - Undergraduate

Ashley is a student at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Previously, she worked at University of Southern California studying pressure-driven membranes for water recycling and at JHU under Dr. Lutsenko studying effects of copper in the brain. Ashley is gaining laboratory research skills while helping the lab to develop new genetic tools for Bradyrhizobium manipulation.

Email: ashim at carnegiescience dot edu


Our Mascots




Rio & Annie


Don Brown's office frog



Woof Woof!

Tony (RIP) & Montana


Uncomfortable silence!

Johnny Ringo