The Brito Lab is committed to the pursuit of scientific goals that expand our understanding of the natural world and to improve human health. Ilana and the lab are here to provide support to carry out and publish high-quality research and to meet individuals' career goals. In doing so, we value open communication based on mutual respect, scientific integrity, and good mentorship.
We celebrate diversity and strive to promote inclusion within the lab and our scientific communities.
Prof. Ilana Brito
Mong Family Sesquicentenial Faculty Scholar and Asst. Prof in BME
PhD, Biology, MIT
BA, Biology and Government (dual degree), Harvard University
Ilana started at Cornell in 2016. She specializes both in the experimental and computational sides of microbiome research. She has a long-standing interest in infectious disease and global health which percolate throughout her research. She was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Packard Foundation Fellowship, Pew Biomedical Scholar and a NIH New Innovator Award. She also loves trail running and running after her chickens.
Lab Manager and Research Support Specialist
Research Support Specialist and Lab Manager
BS, Microbiology, Northwest University, China
PhD, Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, China
Qiaojuan did her post-doctoral research at UCDavis before coming to Cornell. Prior to the Brito lab, she worked on transposition and DNA replication and on the human microbiome. Here in the Brito Lab, Qiaojuan manages all aspects of the lab to ensure the lab runs smoothly, in addition to managing large-scale research projects. Outside the lab, Qiaojuan enjoys spending time with her family, playing badminton and volunteering at her kids' schools.
Sandra Liliana Arias
PhD, Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MS, Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sandra’s research focuses on understanding how the physicochemical properties of biological and abiotic interfaces regulate host-pathogen interactions. Her scientific goal is to contribute to a better understanding of how the features of the microenvironment impact microbial life and mark the onset of some disease states. Outside the lab, she enjoys hanging out with friends, cooking, and working out.
PhD, Microbiology, Universite Paris-Saclay
MS, Microbiology, University Paris-Saclay
BS, Biology, University Paris-Saclay
Jeffrey is interested in the discovery of bacterial proteins involved in host-gut microbiota interactions. He aims to determine how these proteins act in host cells and how they participate in the onset of human disease. Outside the lab, he loves eating cheese, reading, playing video games and relaxing in the sun.
PhD, Microbiology, Cornell University
BA, University of Illinois
Peter is interested in developing new experimental tools to examine the mobile gene pool in complex microbial communities. He is also wants to develop tools for engineering the microbiome. In his free time, Peter likes to play guitar, hike extremely long distances and play with his cat. He defended from the lab in Spring 2022.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD, Biomedical Sciences, KU Leuven
MSc, Bioengineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
BSc, Bioengineerign Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Doris moved from Belgium to the states to join the lab. She is interested in the rates of horizontal gene transfer within the gut microbiome under various levels of positive selection. She wants to determine the relative importance of transfer type, selective pressure and host health. As a true Belgian, she loves dark chocolate in all forms as well as dining with family and friends. She loves to travel, experience different cultures and the immense beauty of nature.
PhD student in Microbiology
BA, Microbiology, Cornell University
Diana's work revolves around studying the mobility of antibiotic resistance genes in the human microbiome. After working in the Brito Lab, she plans to continue her research on the microbiome through a PhD program. Outside of classes and research, she enjoys figure skating, reading, and playing with her cat.
Hector Loyola Irizarry
PhD student in Microbiology & Immunology
BS, Industrial Microbiology, University of Puerto Rico
Hector is interested in understanding the gut host-microbe interactions that underlie disease and engineering the gut microbiome to improve host health. In his free time, Hector will usually be playing video games, watching movies, and exploring new places. He also enjoys cooking and playing soccer.
PhD student in Microbiology & Immunology
BS, Cellular and Molecular Biology, San Francisco State
Josh is interested in uncovering how commensal microbes affect cancer progression and the efficacy of cancer-fighting immunotherapeutics. In his free time, he enjoys riding bicycles and hiking through the hills of Ithaca and playing video games. Josh is also a recipient of a Sloan Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and is a 2021 CVG Scholar.
PhD student in Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cell Biology
B.S. Biochemistry University of Missouri
Daniel is interested in developing experimental methods to find the pathways and mechanisms through which host-microbe interactions happen in the gut. Through this work he hopes to advance our understanding of the gut microbiota's role in health and disease. In his free time Daniel enjoys getting outdoors whether it be hiking, rock climbing, or whatever the day may bring.
Yi-Yuan (Ian) Lee
PhD student in Computational Biology
MS., Computational Biology, Carnegie Mellon University
BS., Biochemical Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Ian is interested in deciphering the biological meaning in -omics data with machine learning and deep learning algorithms, especially in microbiome-host interactions and immunology. Outside of the lab, Ian loves swimming, dancing, reading, and brewing aromatic coffee.
PhD student in Microbiology & Immunology
BS, Microbiology, University of Pittsburgh
Sarah works to identify proteins in the gut microbiota that interact with the host to shape host health. Outside of the lab, she's an avid swimmer/runner/biker, a general outdoor enthusiast, and loves budget-traveling to new cities. Sarah received the 2019 T32 Immunoengineering Training Fellowship!
PhD. Student in Biomedical Engineering
BTech + MTech dual degree, Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, India
Adarsh is trying to leverage innovations in synthetic biology and genetic engineering to better understand host-microbe relationships. In his free time, he enjoys working out, watching documentaries on international politics, listening to semi-classical Indian music, and cuddling with his cat. Also, he aims to visit a list of cities on his bucket list before he turns 30.
PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering
B.S. Chemical and Biological Engineering, Montana State University
James is interested in the protein-protein interactions between host and microbiome. He is also curious about the affects the microbiome has upon neurological health and development. Outside of the lab, he enjoys brewing interesting beers and sweet meads. He can also be found reading, painting and hiking.
Xieyue (Sharon) Xiao
PhD student in Biomedical Engineering
BS, Biotechnology, Shandong University, China
MEng, Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
Sharon is investigating outer membrane vesicles within the microbiome. She just received her Masters of Engineering in biomedical engineering from Cornell! She loves reading, classical music and chilling out and is trying to push herself to love working out.
BS, Biochemistry, University of Miami
Before the lab, Jiucheng was an undergraduate research assistant studying pain alleviation caused by Spinal Cord Injury. He's currently culturing all sorts of gut microbes. Outside school, he enjoys playing badminton, snowboarding and other adventures.
Hannah is planning on majoring in Biological Engineering in CALS and would like to pursue graduate studies in the future. She is currently working with Sarah to understand how bacteria interact with host intestinal tissue and how this affects human health. Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, hiking, playing sports, and watching sporting events, sitcoms, and horror movies.
Maya is planning on majoring in Computer Science and hopes to pursue a PhD in Computational Biology. She is currently working with Sarah to understand how bacteria in the microbiome interact with the host. Outside of the lab, she likes to sing, arrange music, watch sci-fi movies, travel, and spend time with family.
Daniel is studying Biological Engineering and plans to pursue graduate studies following graduation. He is currently working on identifying interactions between commensal bacteria and the host to explore its impact on human health. Outside of the lab, he enjoys skiing, cooking, watching sports, and spending time with friends.
Rahul is planning on majoring in biomedical engineering and would like to pursue graduate studies in the future. He is currently working with Josh on understanding how bacteria in the microbiome affect host gene expression during colorectal cancer using imaging and computational techniques. In his free time, Rahul enjoys performing music, exploring walking trails, and reading.
BA Biology, Cornell University
Matt joined us as an ungrad and is working with us as he prepares for medical school. He is currently working on tracking the sources of mobile genes in microbiomes and exploring different selection methods for commensal microbes. In his free time, Matt likes to watch movies, play frisbee, and play tennis.
(in reverse order of their departure)
Albert graduated from GGD and is headed to a postdoc studying phage (his true passion) at Yale.
Hao graduated from Microbiology and is now a computational biologist at Moderna!
Carl was an REU with us in 2022 and worked on biofilms. He is currently finishing up his degree at Amherst College.
Our undergraduate researcher in BE is off doing an industry internship!
Felicia graduated from GGD and is now headed off to work for NanoString on the latest spatial sequencing technologies!
Chengqi received her MEng and worked as a technician with us! She's now pursuing her PhD in BME!
Nandika worked in the lab as a BME undergrad trying to understand the gut mucosa.
Ana was a Cornell Presidential Fellow and now is starting her lab in the BME department at the University of Florida!
Gabe is out studying for his MCAT. Good luck!
Ketaki will be graduating from Cornell's BME program and then onto graduate school!
Juan, my first PhD graduate, and a former postdoc, is now working for Quantum-Si, a protein tech start-up!
Taylor was a BME MEng student in the lab focused on host-microbiome interactions.
Abi was an undergrad in the lab who traveled to Guatemala to study the effect of iron on the microbiome!
Alison was a student intern in the lab and is finishing up her degree in Statistics.
Our former postdoc, Alyssa, is moving to Atlanta to work with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Jeff was our summer intern. He's off to finish his final year at Ithaca College.
Our REU student from Loyola Marymount University. He's finishing up his BA and applying to PhD programs.
Our former lab tech, Rowan got his BA in BE and wants to work in data science. But first to China, to learn Chinese.
Jinghan earned her BS in BME and is headed to Columbia Mailman School of Public Health for an MPH in Epidemiology.
Cara got her MS in GGD, and is now working at the National institutes for Health as a staff scientist.
She volunteered in the lab and is now getting her PhD at Binghamton University.
Rachel, our former technician, left to get her DVM from Cornell.