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Meet Our Team


Brittany Belin, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator (she/her)

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


Annika Atherton, B.S. - Lab Manager / Technician (she/her)

Annika Atherton earned her B.Sc. in Neuroscience from Washington State University. While studying, she volunteered in Dr. Lane Brown's lab where she studied M1 subtype retinal cells. Her passion for research drove her to join the Carnegie Institution for Science to broaden her research experience while supporting the students and faculty of the Belin Lab. Her focus is to fully support the lab's research, learning and sharpening her research skills along the way.

Email: aatherton at carnegiescience dot edu

Huiqiao Pan, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Researcher (she/her)

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 hosts during symbiosis.

Email: hpan at carnegiescience dot edu


Scott Carlew, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Researcher (he/him)

Scott received his B.S. and his Ph.D. studying plant biology and plant-microbe interactions at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He joined the lab in June 2023 and he is studying the genetic changes that accompany bacterial differentiation in different plant host backgrounds.

Email: scarlew at carnegiescience dot edu

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Matt Lubin, B.S. - Graduate Student (he/him)

Matt graduated with a B.A. in biology and philosophy from Yeshiva University. He then 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 understa
nding of how biological phenomenon emerge from molecular mechanisms and interactions. Matt is using genetics and quantitative microscopy to uncover the contributions of rhizobial chemotaxis to legume colonization in the rhizosphere.

Email: mlubin at carnegiescience dot edu


Ann Deng, B.S. - Graduate Student (she/they)

Ann received her B.S. from UC Berkeley, where she majored in in Molecular and Cell Biology and Music and studied lyosome membranes in the Roberto Zoncu lab. She then worked as a technician studying RNA biology with Stephen Floor at UCSF before joining the CMDB program at Hopkins.

Ann is studying the molecular mechanisms of lipid transport in rhizobia

Email: adeng at carnegiescience dot edu


Lorna Mitchison-Field, B.S. - Graduate Student (they/them)

Lorna graduated from Mount Holyoke and spent their summers studying marine fungi at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA with Dr. Amy Gladfelter of UNC Chapel Hill. They then helped to develop cultivation and genetics protocols for the cnidarian-algal symbiosis, as a technician with Dr. John Pringle at Stanford and Dr. Phil Cleves at Carnegie.

Lorna is studying
rhizobial membrane compartmentalization.

Email: lmitchison-field at carnegiescience dot edu


Evan Schlesinger, B.S. - Graduate Student (he/him)

 Evan received his B.S. in Biology at Muhlenberg College, where he studied the genetic basis of quiescent arrest in C. elegans. He then worked as a technician in the Miwa Lab at Lehigh University, studying modulators of nicotinic acetylcholine signaling in the mouse brain.

Email: eschlesinger at carnegiescience dot edu

Daniel Teixeira - Undergraduate (he/him)

Daniel is a student at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Daniel is developing his laboratory research skills while aiding the lab in understanding the role of rhizobial chemotaxis receptors to legume colonization in the rhizosphere.

Email: dteixeira at carnegiescience dot edu


Alex Dong - Undergraduate (he/him)

Alex is a student at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is learning new molecular biology skills as he works on developing new genetic tools for Bradyrhizobium manipulation.

Email: ydong at carnegiescience dot edu

Current & Former Lab Mascots




Rio & Annie


Woof Woof!

Zeke (RIP)



Tony (RIP) & Montana

Don Brown's office frog







Uncomfortable silence!

Johnny Ringo




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*quiet whir of flagellar rotation*

Lab Alumni

Ashley Shim, B.S. - Former Technician
currently: Consultant at Accenture

Sarah Talamantez-Lyburn, M.S. - Former Lab Manager/Technician
currently: Research Associate at Exact Sciences

Evan Lawrence, B.S. - Former Technician
currently: PhD student in the Cleves lab at Carnegie

Former Undergraduates:
Christina Sia (JHU)
Jonas Larson (JHU)
Caroline Danielski (College of William & Mary; now PhD student at UVA)
Arden Carvalho (REU; UMass Amherst)

Former Rotation Students:
Austin Chiapetta (JHU - Trcek Lab)
Audrey Heffner (NIH - Rouault Lab)
Jonathan Seaman (NIH - Chelser Lab)
Frank Liu (JHU - DiRuggiero Lab)
Xincheng Yuan (JHU - Myong Lab)
Calvin Runnels (JHU - Gordus Lab)
Nick Wong (Carnegie - Ludington Lab)
Emily Meier (Carnegie - Cleves Lab)


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