About us

Our lab started August 1st, 2022 in the department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University. 

We are a community of ‘microthanotologists working to develop new antibacterial medicines. Our research focuses on Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enterica, bacterial chemotaxis, and bacterial antioxidant enzymes.


Lab members

Arden Baylink, PhD

Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor

Dr. Baylink originates from a small farming and ranching community in Eastern Oregon. Early interests in nature and wildlife propelled him to pursue a college degree in biology, where he was introduced to research by Dr. Joe Corsini of Eastern Oregon University. Subsequently, Dr. Baylink earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics studying structures of bacterial redox enzymes with Dr. Andy Karplus of Oregon State University, and later studied bacterial pathogenesis as a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Karen Guillemin and Dr. Jim Remington at University of Oregon. Dr. Baylink advocates for the inclusion of rural individuals, 1st-generation college graduates, and those from low-income backgrounds in science and academia. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Baylink owns the drug discovery company Amethyst Antimicrobials, LLC, and seeks to use insights from research to develop new antibacterials and fight bacterial diseases.

  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Bacterial Pathogenesis) University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 2015-2022
  • PhD (Biochemistry & Biophysics) Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 2015
  • BS (Biology major, chemistry minor) Eastern Oregon University, La Grande, OR, 2009

Graduate Students

Kailie Franco

Kailie graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in both Biochemistry/Biophysics and Chemistry. Her prior research experience includes work on neuronal chemotaxis under Bo Sun of OSU Physics. In the summer of 2021, she earned the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship through the Oregon National Primate Research Center, where she worked on modeling miRNAs of Epstein-Barr virus in non-human primate models. In 2022, she joined OSU’s GCE4All Center under the direction of Ryan Mehl and Richard Cooley, where she focused on incorporating non-canonical amino acids into antibodies and split green and citrine fluorescent proteins. Kailie’s thesis work is investigating how bacterial pathogens use motility and chemotaxis to navigate redox landscapes. In her free time, Kailie enjoys spending time with her cat, Orion, crocheting and knitting, and hiking.

Siena Glenn

Siena graduated from Oregon State University with B.S. degrees in Microbiology and Psychology and is interested in how bacteria that colonize the gut can influence our physical and mental health. Her prior research experience includes work on Hepatitis B and primate infection models at OHSU in the Burwitz lab. During her time in the Burwitz lab Siena developed an in vitro model to determine the efficiency of gene therapy by fluorescence. Siena started as a doctoral student in 2022 at Washington State University and is an ARCS scholar. Siena’s thesis work is investigating how Salmonella achieves fitness advantages in the inflamed gut through chemotaxis. In Siena’s spare time she enjoys spending time with her cat, Suki, rock climbing, and playing board games.

Andrea Gómez

Andrea is an international graduate student from Guatemala. She graduated from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) with BSc. degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology in 2016. In 2017 she earned the GuateFuturo scholarship. That allowed her to pursue an MSc in Biomedicine at Lancaster University (UK) studying candidate genes involved in aging hallmarks using the Drosophila model organism at Dr. David Clancy’s fly lab. She has lab experience in multiple fields like forensics, reproductive medicine, and microbiology. She was a professor at UVG for 4 years and worked as a research assistant at the Microbiology Lab for UVG’s Center of Health Studies. Since 2020, she has been a volunteer at the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) in the Guatemala Chapter to promote STEM education to girls. Andrea started as a doctoral student at Washington State University in 2022 and is an NIH Biotech Training Program trainee. Andrea’s thesis work is focused on developing new antibacterial medicines using structure-based drug discovery approaches. During her spare time, Andrea enjoys baking, crocheting, and reading.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Jyoti Kashyap

Jyoti Kashyap received her Ph.D.  degree in microbiology from Miami University, Oxford, OH in 2022 under the guidance of Dr. D.J. Ferguson. During her Ph.D. studies, she focused on gut microbiota metabolism and its implications for human health. She studied choline metabolism in a human gut bacterium and an environmental methanogen. Leveraging powerful analytical chemistry techniques, like nuclear magnetic resonance and proteomics, she was able to characterize the pathways and end products involved in choline metabolism. Her Ph.D. resulted in the discovery of a potential probiotic and a new activity for an enzyme involved in quaternary amine utilization. In her current research at Baylink lab, she will focus on illuminating the infection strategies of the gut pathogen Helicobacter pylori in vivo with the help of quantitative 3D confocal microscopy. Jyoti enjoys hiking, watching movies, knitting, and cooking in her spare time. She makes a mean watermelon Mojito and excellent Indian food.  

Undergraduate Students

Samira Diaz De Leon

Samira is working toward a B.S. from Washington State University in Biochemistry, with an emphasis in Molecular Biology, and is interested in the field of infectious disease research. In the future, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in biomedical sciences. Samira is supporting infectious disease research in the Baylink lab, including culturing of bacterial pathogens and protein crystallography. During the summer of 2023, she will attend the RNA Biosciences Initiative Internship at University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Campus. In May 2023, Samira was selected as a MARC scholar. In her free time, Samira enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, swimming, gardening, and playing basketball.

Eliza Johnson

Eliza is an undergraduate studying Genetics and Cell Biology. Her professional interests include the human microbiome, molecular biology, astrobiology, synthetic biology, and epigenetics. She will be pursuing work as a lab technician after graduation, eventually hoping to work as a lab manager, and is building this foundation on lab safety and teamwork in science.

Lab pets

Augustus aka "Gus"
Suki & Dolly
Madison, Charlie & Scout
Mona & Poke
Ernie & Franklin
Miss Chips