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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 host immunity during symbiosis.

Email: hpan at carnegiescience dot edu


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

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

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 interested in studying 
rhizobial genes important for their endocytosis into legume cells.

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 Amy Gladfelter of UNC Chapel Hill. They continued to study marine organisms and helped to develop cultivation and genetics protocols for the cnidarian-algal symbiosis, working as a technician with John Pringle at Stanford and close-friend-of-the-lab Phil Cleves, also in the Carnegie Embryology department.

In their thesis work, Lorna plans to use quantitative microscopy to study
lipid regulation of rhizobium cell polarity in symbiosis.

Email: lmitchison-field at carnegiescience dot edu

Ashley Shim - Research Technician (she/her)

Ashley started working in the lab as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University. She graduated in December 2022 with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and has continued in the lab as a technician. Ashley is studying the functions of hopanoids in soybean symbiosis and developing new genetic tools for Bradyrhizobium manipulation.

Email: ashim 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

Our Mascots




Rio & Annie


Don Brown's office frog



Woof Woof!

Tony (RIP) & Montana


Uncomfortable silence!

Johnny Ringo



Lab Alumni

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 Johns Hopkins CMDB program

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