Noelle Noyes, MA, DVM, PhD
Dr. Noelle Noyes is a veterinary epidemiologist in the Veterinary Population Medicine Department at the University of Minnesota. Noelle received her BA in European Studies from Amherst College, with a concentration in Asian Languages and Civilizations. She received her MA from Osnabrück Universität, Germany while conducting independent research on an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and bartending at the local kneipe. She then worked as a consultant for Mercator Partners in Boston, specializing in innovation strategy and mergers/acquisitions for high-tech companies. After deciding that corporate American wasn't for her, Noelle decided to pursue veterinary school. While waitressing and wrangling cows, dogs and cats (not at the same time), Noelle took all of the science pre-reqs for vet school and was accepted into the DVM-PhD program at Colorado State University, where she received her doctorate in epidemiology, a USDA NIFA post-doctoral fellowship, and her veterinary degree (large animal medicine). Dr. Noyes values diversity, ingenuity, and genuineness.
Chris Dean, PhD Candidate, BICB
Chris is a PhD student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at the University of Minnesota. Chris received his B.A. in Psychology from Metro State University of Denver, with a minor in Computer Science. Following that, he pursued a career in online poker — specializing in short-handed no-limit Texas hold’em, where he could be seen playing 24 tables of mid stakes cash games, simultaneously. After Black Friday (see United States v. Scheinberg), Chris enrolled at Colorado State University, where he received a B.S. in Computer Science. Equipped with the skills to engage in both computational and biological research, Chris enrolled at the University of Minnesota under the mentorship of Dr. Noelle Noyes. Chris and Dr. Noyes have collaborated on numerous projects related to algorithm development, antimicrobial resistance, and microbial ecology at Colorado State University and Chris is excited to continue this collaboration at the University of Minnesota.
Ilya Slizovskiy, DVM, PhD Candidate and Public Health Resident
Dr. Ilya Slizovskiy is a PhD student in the Veterinary Population Medicine Department at the University of Minnesota. Ilya fell in love with original research while studying chemistry and toxicology at Muhlenberg College (Allentown, Pennsylvnia). Ilya earned an MPH at Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut), where he received the Jan A.J. Stolwijk fellowship in environmental epidemiology. While conducting population research in the Appalachian region, Ilya was inspired by the possibility that companion and livestock animals can be used as early indicators of disease in human populations, due to the 'shared environment'. Ilya pursued clinical training at Colorado State University (Ft. Collins, Colorado), where he received his veterinary medical degree (large animal medicine track). After completing his doctorate in epidemiology at UMN, Ilya intends to expand the breadth of scientific knowledge at the intersection between human and animal health, with a particular focus on antimicrobial resistance and infectious disease. In his spare time, Ilya works as a cow doctor, horse tamer, and dog whisperer.
Felipe Pena Mosca, DVM, MSc, VMED PhD Candidate
Felipe Peña Mosca is a PhD student and research assistant in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at University of Minnesota. Felipe was born in Uruguay, where he obtained a DVM and MSc from the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Republic (FVET- UdelaR), Uruguay. He worked for 4 years as a practitioner in dairy farms, as well as a research assistant at FVET- UdelaR focusing on udder health in dairy cows. In 2019 he obtained the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue graduate studies in USA, moving to Minnesota in July, 2019. His research looks for a deeper understanding of mastitis epidemiology and new ways to improve udder health in dairy cows. He is currently involved in projects that study bedding management and its impact on udder health, new approaches for mastitis diagnosis and prevention in conventional and organic dairy farms.
Aaron Asmus, MS, PhD Student
Aaron is pursuing his PhD in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences under the guidance of Dr. Noelle Noyes. He is also the Director of Lab Services and Refrigerated Foods Product Development for Hormel Foods in Austin, MN. Aaron has worked at Hormel Foods for 19 years, all in Research and Development. He received his BS in Animal Science and MS in Meat Science, both from Iowa State University. Aaron’s research focus is the microbiome of pork products and potential relationships to food safety. In his free time, Aaron enjoys running, being a part of many of his kids’ activities, exploring in the mountains, and sitting on beaches.
Yale Deng, PhD, Post-doc
Dr. Yale is currently working as a post-doc in Dr. Noyes Lab at Veterinary Population Medicine
Department, University of Minnesota. He received his BA at China Agriculture University,
majoring in aquaculture. After that, he enrolled at Zhejiang University, where he obtained his
BS on aquaculture engineering and his research focused on biological treatment of aquaculture
wastewater treatment in recirculating aquaculture system. Yale accomplished his PhD research
at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands, where his research focused on the
strategies to modulate fish gut microbiota during the early life with the objective to increase
fish survival, growth, and gut homeostasis in the later life stages. He interests in studying the
microbial ecology of animal production systems, and tries to understand the complex
interactions between animals, microbes, and environment. He joined Noyes Lab on winter
2022, and his goal is to apply metagenomic sequencing and bioinformatic techniques for
microbiome study with the expectation to improve animal health and reduce environmental
Avery Cheeseman, Undergraduate Intern
Avery Cheeseman is an undergrad student intern who is looking into studying something in the STEM field specifically in biological sciences, environmental sciences, or health sciences. Avery is a recent Washburn High School graduate of the class of 2023 who received high honors at this school. While in high school Avery also attended Normandale Community College full-time through a program called Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) as a junior and senior. Avery was able to maintain high honors at Normandale and joined the honors society known as Phi Theta Kappa throughout their time at the school. Avery was able to balance both academics and extracurriculars throughout their high school experience. Avery loves learning and trying new things so naturally they joined as many extracurriculars as they could find. Most notable being that they joined and were a captain of their high school's Varsity Lacrosse Team and led their Washburn Robotics Media Team. Avery has also taken part in various internships and outreach programs such as an internship through Boston Scientific located in Arden Hills in the summer of 2022. They took part in the Neuromods Department as an intern to quality engineers and helped with rhythm management. They led Device History Record (DHR), the electronic conversion for more than 80 boxes of paper records. Avery values hard work, dedication, inclusivity, and kindness not just at work or school but as a part of their everyday life.
Jacob Singer, Class of 2027 at Northwestern University
Jacob is an undergraduate at Northwestern University, where he is studying physics and mathematics. He first became interested in professional programming through his time on the high school robotics team, which inspired him to apply his skills to research. While volunteering for an astronomy research group at the University of Minnesota, he developed an interest in scientific computing, which he now applies to the study of bioinformatics. In his free time, Jacob enjoys reading, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and playing piano.
Paul Melchior, BA MS Visiting Researcher
Paul is a microbiologist and visiting researcher on sabbatical from his post as biology professor at North Hennepin Community College and Bemidji State University. After finishing college (St. John’s University) and graduate school (University of Minnesota) he worked as an environmental biologist in government and industry for seven years before pursuing his teaching vocation by joining the NHCC biology department in 1996. In 2009, Paul helped found the Biology Baccalaureate Partnership (BA/BS) program with Bemidji State University, and now teaches for both institutions. He is also the director of NHCC/BSU’s Biology Study Abroad in Ireland program, and in 2021 he received an Outstanding Educator Award from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.
Paul’s research uses metagenomic analyses to investigate the microbiome of the insectivorous wetland plant, Sarracenia purpurea. He also studies bacterial pathogen surveillance in surface water systems of Ireland. In his spare time, Paul builds furniture, makes things out of steel, manages the Minneapolis Mudcats amateur baseball team, and plays for the St. Anthony Codgers senior men’s club. Paul and his wife, Suzanne, live in Fridley and have two adult sons.
Thomas Wehri, DVM Student
Thomas Wehri is a first-year VetFAST DVM student at the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Minnesota. Tom completed his undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, double majoring in Cellular and Organismal Physiology and Animal Science with an emphasis in pre-veterinary medicine. His main interest is large animal medicine. In his free time, Tom enjoys spending time with his nieces and nephews, listening and playing music, keeping up with his favorite netflix shows, and checking animal shelter websites to see all of the wonderful pets up for adoption. His goals through working in the Noyes lab is to gain experience in a laboratory setting and to work on better understanding antibacterial resistance in our food animals for application in his future career.
Omar Jimenez-Lopez, DVM, PhD Student
Omar Jimenez-Lopez is a PhD student in the Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Minnesota. Omar is originally from Valdivia, a rainy city in the south of Chile, where he obtained his Veterinary Medicine degree. He is working on the microbiome of salmonids from different production systems, which is the first step in identifying beneficial or harmful bacteria within these unique systems. The ultimate goal is to develop new technologies (i.e., new diets or probiotics) for the improvement of fish health and the aquaculture industry. In his free time, Omar enjoys birdwatching and learning about nature. His goal in The Noyes Lab is to gain experience in the laboratory procedures and bioinformatic analyses.
Gerardo R. Diaz, DVM, VMED MS Student
Gerardo is a Peruvian veterinarian who is passionate about science and animal health. He has been involved in research projects that sought solutions to health problems in farm animals native to Peru, like alpacas and guinea pigs, which were funded by national and international institutions. Gerardo obtained his master’s degree in Peru, studying non-rodent Leptospira reservoirs in the Peruvian Amazon as part of a training program of the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institute of Health. Thereafter, he joined public and private institutions in Peru as a molecular diagnosis specialist, researcher, and part-time lecturer. He joined the Noyes Lab in Fall 2021 as a VMED MS student, aiming to understand the role of livestock in the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) around the world using epidemiological and molecular methods. His long-term goal is to raise awareness about AMR in developing countries, like his own, and highlight the “one health” approach to any public health challenge. When no close deadlines are around, Gerardo loves to spend time with family and friends, playing with his little daughter, or learning about random topics on the internet.
Mariana Meneguzzi, DVM, MS, PhD student (VMED Program)
Mariana Meneguzzi is pursuing her PhD under the guidance of Dr. Noelle Noyes and
Dr. Montserrat Torremorell. Mariana obtained her DVM degree from Instituto Federal
Catarinense (Brazil) and her MS degree from the University of Minnesota. A native from
the countryside of Santa Catarina, Brazil, where poultry and swine production are an
important part of the State economy, she developed a passion for animals at a young
age. Mariana has a genuine interest in swine infectious disease and improving pig
productivity. Her research focuses on using next-generation sequencing (NGS)
methods to better understand swine influenza co-infections and the role of the
respiratory microbiome in influenza infections.
Jared Young, DVM/PhD Student, CVM
Jared is a veterinary student in the DVM/PhD program at the University of Minnesota. After completing the first 2 1/2 years of veterinary training, he will transition into the Comparative and Molecular Biosciences graduate program as a PhD student. Following the completion of a PhD, he will return to the veterinary program and finish the remainder of his DVM training. Jared received his BS in Animal Science from West Texas A&M University, located in the heart of the Texas panhandle. His undergraduate experiences fostered a passion for food animal health and a love of cattle, which has influenced many of his career goals. Having been born in Minnesota, Jared is returning with interest in microbial ecology, and intends to further research microbiome dynamics and their impact on animal health, disease transmission and the spread of antimicrobial resistance using next generation sequencing and bioinformatics techniques. In his spare time, Jared can be found tending to his garden (when it's not frozen over) and caring for his 50+ houseplants.
Tara Gaire, Post-Doc
Tara received his BVSc in Veterinary Science (2011) and MVSc in Veterinary Medicine (2013) from Nepal. His MS research thesis project was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) led by Colorado State University. Then he joined the Government of Nepal as a veterinary officer for more than 3 years, where he participated in disease surveillance and control programs and performed field epidemiology investigations. In 2016, he began a PhD at Kansas State University, where his research focused on the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antimicrobial drug pharmacodynamics in fecal microbial communities in food animals. As a graduate research assistant, he also worked on the Kansas site of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) – Retail Food Surveillance. His career goal is to apply epidemiological knowledge coupled with diverse methods to study metagenomes to understand microbial ecology and AMR in livestock systems.
Peter Ferm, Bioinformatics Researcher
Peter is a bioinformatics researcher for the Noyes Lab. He received his Master’s in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Noelle Noyes as a graduate mentor. Peter’s current research focuses on comparing different whole-genome sequencing, pipelines, approaches, and datasets. In delving into the many decision areas in a whole-genome sequencing analysis, Peter strives to understand how we can improve the transparency and scalability of post-sequencing pipelines for large genomic datasets. He aspires to learn, troubleshoot, and share all that the vast world of bioinformatics and computation has to offer! When Peter is not on the command-line or in different coding environments, he enjoys the Montana outdoors with his family and friends.
Kendra Pachniak, PhD Student
Kendra is a PhD student in the Veterinary Medicine PhD program at the University of Minnesota
working under the guidance of Whitney Knauer and Noelle Noyes. She first fell in love with dairy
cows on her family’s small dairy farm, working alongside her mother who managed and co-
owned the Dairy. Kendra got her B.S. in Dairy Science from the University of Wisconsin River-
Falls in 2016, and obtained her Masters of Science in Bioengineering in 2019, graduating at the
top of her class from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. Shortly after graduating
with her M.S., Kendra moved back to Minnesota to work in the Molecular Diagnostics Lab at the
University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory until starting her PhD in 2022.
Kendra’s research focuses on epidemiology and microbiomes as they pertain to dairy calf health
and welfare. She is especially interested in how the micro-environment around calves can be
utilized to help create happier and healthier cows later on in their lives. When she’s not in the
barn or the lab, Kendra can be found crocheting with her cat on her lap, reading a fantasy or
romance novel, indoor rock climbing with her husband, or playing Dungeons and Dragons with
her nerdy friends.
Collaboration is key to who we are and what we do. Here are some of the people who we enjoy working with on a regular basis:
Institute on the Environment at UMN
The Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain
The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture
The Microbial Ecology Group
The Ruminant Group at UMN's College of Veterinary Medicine
The Swine Group at UMN's College of Veterinary Medicine
Zaid Abdo at Colorado State University
Joe Armstrong at University of Minnesota
Keith Belk at Colorado State University
Christina Boucher at University of Florida
Brandy Burgess at University of Georgia
Luciano Caixeta at University of Minnesota
Peter Davies at University of Minnesota
Alice Formiga at Oregon State University
Jamie Kaufman at IBM Research Almaden
Katrine Lekang at University of Oslo, Norway
Vinicius Machado at Texas Tech University
Paul Morley at West Texas A&M University
Pablo Pinedo at Colorado State University
Clare Ryan at University of Georgia
Randy Singer at University of Minnesota
Henning Sørum at NMBU, Norway
Enrique Doster, PhD, Post-Doc, 2021
Enrique was a post-doc in The Noyes Lab from 2020-2021. Enrique obtained his dual-degree DVM-PhD degree from Colorado State University in 2022, and currently resides in Arizona. Enrique completed his PhD in veterinary epidemiology in May 2019 with Dr. Paul Morley, and then joined The Noyes Lab for a one-year post-doctoral position, after which he completed his DVM training. Enrique holds a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences from Auburn University with a research background in livestock production. His goal is to contribute an applied interpretation of statistical analyses and help translate research into practical livestock management techniques. He is especially interested in understanding the differences between metagenomic analysis of microbial communities compared to results obtained from traditional techniques.
Carissa Odland, DVM, MS VMED Student, 2022
Dr. Carissa Odland successfully defended her MS degree in 2022, after which she became Manager of Sustainability at Wholestone Farms. Dr. Carissa Odland was a graduate from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine and joined Pipestone Veterinary Services and Pipestone System in 2009. Dr. Odland is originally from Saint Peter, MN where she grew up on a sheep farm. Dr. Odland resides in rural Pipestone with her husband Isaac. While working full-time, she pursued a Masters of Science degree in the Veterinary Medicine graduate program in the College of Veterinary Medicine, focusing on antibiotic use and resistance in commercial swine production. She is advised by Dr. Peter Davies.
Tui Ray, PhD, Researcher and Lab Manager, 2022
Dr. Tui Ray was our fearless lab manager from 2018-2022, when she made the jump to industry -- and to Massachusetts! We wish Tui all the best in her next adventures; she made an indelible mark on our lab from its earliest days, and we will miss her! She received her B.Sc., M. Sc., and Ph.D. in Botany with an emphasis in molecular genetics from University of Calcutta, India. She has over 10 years of research experience in Genomics, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Microbiology with specialties in high throughput DNA sequencing, Next Generation Sequencing, Microarrays and qPCR. She pursued her post-doctoral research at The Noble Research Institute, OK, University of California, Davis, University of California, Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania. Previously she worked on metagenomic exploration of microbial diversity in the rhizosphere, soil and host to identify potential organisms conferring adaptive advantages under different stress conditions. She brings a combination of technical and managerial expertise.
Kathryn Crone, Summer Lab Coordinator, 2018
Kathryn graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Equine Sciences from Colorado State University. She worked as an undergraduate with the Microbial Ecology Group at CSU and after graduation continued as Lab Coordinator for their molecular microbiology lab. Her main research interests involve the study of the microbial metagenome and its use in developing novel therapeutics. Kathryn helped jump-start the lab in the summer of 2018, before starting as a first year PhD student in the University of Minnesota's Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics graduate program. Best of luck Kathryn in your program!
Meera Surendran Nair, DVM, MS, MSCTR, PhD, Post-Doc, 2019
Dr. Meera Surendran Nair is a food microbiologist who worked as a post-doc in the Noyes Lab in 2019 before accepting a position as an Assistant Clinical Professor and Resident in Veterinary Microbiology at PennState's College of Agricultural Sciences. Meera is a veterinarian by profession and received her Masters and PhD in food microbiology and safety from University of Connecticut. She is also formally trained in translational medicine research. Her goal is to develop a food safety research program emphasizing bacterial pathogenesis and microbial ecology by integrating experiences in next generation molecular and genomic methods.
Carol Baumann, DVM Student and Summer Scholar, 2019
Carol is a DVM student at University of Minnesota, and joined the Noyes Lab as a Veterinary Summer Scholar in summer 2019. Carol led on-farm heifer sampling work and made substantial contributions to the lab work during her tenure. Carol's ultimate goal is to work as a mixed - animal practitioner with a larger emphasis on dairy cattle because she grew up raising them in rural Illinois. She received her B.S. in Animal Sciences from University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with her pets, a horse and 2 dogs.
Britta Wass, PhD Student, VMED
Britta worked with the Noyes Lab from 2018-2020, with a focus on antimicrobial resistance in poultry production and statistical considerations regarding metagenomic data. She received her BA in Biology and Public Health from St. Catherine University, and then worked as a Research Scientist at Cargill before joining Dr. Randy Singer's lab as a Researcher 2. Britta is following her passion for human-human connection and caregiving, and we wish her all the best!
Blake Jorgenson, BICB Masters Student
Blake completed his M.S. degree in the Noyes Lab as a student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at the University of Minnesota. Upon graduation in spring 2020, Blake took an exciting scientific position at Rebiotix, working on microbiome restoration therapies. Blake received his B.S. in Food Science from Iowa State University, where he trained on the "Dairy Product Evaluation" team. While competing at a collegiate level, he was awarded 1st place in Cheddar cheese evaluation, and his team achieved a 1st place finish in yogurt evaluation. Upon graduating, he worked in Research and Development at General Mills, Yoplait where he leveraged his degree and sensory training for product development. His research interests revolve around molecular biology and microbiomes, with a special interest in fermentation (especially in food systems). In his spare time, Blake enjoys homebrewing all varieties of ferments and working for a local Kombucha start-up (Northstar Kombucha).
Zhang Bingzhou, DVM, Visiting PhD Student
Bingzhou Zhang joined the Noyes Lab for academic year 2019-2020, as a visiting scholar under the China Scholarship Council. Zhang received his DVM in 2014 and then continued his scientific training in the lab of Dr. Qigai He. He completed his Ph.D in the Preventive Veterinary Medicine Department at the Huazhong Agricultural University in 2020. His research focuses on the prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibilities of bacterial pathogens in Chinese pig farms, as well as the pathogenic mechanisms of Haemophilus parasuis, an important swine pathogen. His goal is combining what he has learned in China and America in order to serve the needs of the pig industry.
Patrick Villarga, DVM Student and Summer Scholar, 2020
Patrick joined the Noyes Lab for a Veterinary Summer Scholars research experience in the crazy summer of 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted in-person and on-campus operations at University of Minnesota. Patrick is completing his DVM training at UMN's College of Veterinary Medicine, and has an interest in small animal emergency medicine. For his Summer Scholars work, Patrick worked on a literature review of canine microbiome research, and presented his work at the AAVMC's National Veterinary Scholars Symposium.
Breanna Shi, MS in Mathematics
Breanna Shi obtained her Masters of Science in Mathematics at the University of Minnesota in 2021, under the supervision of Dr. Noyes. Breanna is now pursuing her PhD at Georgia Tech. She worked with the lab from 2020-2021. Before attending University of Minnesota, Breanna earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Stetson University, Deland, FL. Breanna enjoys community outreach in the sciences and mathematics. During her undergraduate, she often spent time teaching students mathematics and running QED, Stetson university’s mathematics club. Breanna is passionate about the mathematical applications in microbiology.
Jesse Elder, BICB Graduate Student
Jesse obtained his MS in Bioinformatics in 2021 with Dr. Noyes as his advisor. He now works for the California Department of Public Health where he uses genomic epidemiology and data science to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. His research interests are focused on the intersection of computer science, mathematics, genetics, and microbiology. In his most recent project, he investigated bioinformatic tools and their applicability to complex metagenomic data. When Jesse isn't coding in Python and R, he is looking for opportunities to teach others about bioinformatics and science in general. He values diverse perspectives and a passion for learning. He is looking forward to his hopefully long, productive career in public health.