Principal Investigator

Erik Wright (Google Scholar, Twitter)
PhD Microbiology @ UW-Madison
MS Civil & Environmental Engineering @ UW-Madison
BS Electrical & Computer Engineering @ Cornell University

Erik's research integrates comparative genomics and experimental evolution to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Although antibiotics have been used by microorganisms for eons, it remains unclear how these organisms have mitigated the rise of antibiotic resistance in their competitors. Erik studies the strategies that naturally antibiotic-producing bacteria have evolved to discourage the build-up of resistance, and how some bacteria have adapted to overcome antibiotics while paying a minimal price for resistance. The goal of this research is to develop new strategies for treating pathogens in the clinic, ultimately turning the tide against increasing antibiotic resistance.

Administrative Assistant

Maria Bond
MLIS @ University of Pittsburgh
BA Humanities @ University of Pittsburgh

Maria is an administrator in the Department of Biomedical Informatics. She manages administrative matters for the Wright lab, including lab ordering, maintenance of equipment, safety plans, and scheduling. She is dedicated to helping the scientists do their science.

Research Specialist

Ann Donnelly
PhD Chemistry @ Princeton University
BA Chemistry @ Drew University

Ann is a research specialist engaged in many of the lab's projects. Her primary research involves studying the role of compensatory mutations in the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Ann is particularly interested in understanding the challenges associated with restoring antibiotic sensitivity in multi-drug resistant pathogens.


Nick Cooley
BS Microbiology; BS Molecular Genetics @ Ohio State University
PhD Chemistry @ University of Missouri

Nick is a postdoc studying the evolution of biosynthetic gene clusters using computational and experimental approaches. The goal of his research is to discover new antibiotic therapies that can eventually be applied in the clinic. Nick is particularly interested in synthetic biology, and whether existing biosynthetic machinery can be modified to perform new or interesting functions.
María Rebolleda Gómez
BS Biology @ Universidad Autónoma de México
PhD Ecology, Evolution and Behavior @ University of Minnesota

María is a Pittsburgh Ecology and Evolution Postdoctoral Fellow studying the role of spatial structure and dispersal in the evolution of antibiotic resistance. The goal of her research is to understand how antimicrobial resistance evolves and it is maintained in meta-communities (e.g., hosts connected by infection). Additionally, María is interested in the evolution of symbiosis and heritability in complex systems and the evolution of microbes in a community context.

Graduate Students

Deepank Korandla
Computational Biology Major
BA Biology @ Carnegie Mellon University

Deepank is a student in the Master’s in Computational Biology program at Carnegie Mellon University. His research in the Wright Lab involves developing machine learning approaches for finding genes in genomes, and through this experience he is learning how to solve computational problems at the intersection of biology and genomics. After graduation, Deepank plans to pursue a career in industry where he can apply computational tools to solve problems in the biomedical field.

Lab Alumni