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3125 Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850

I am passionate about expanding our pool of scientific knowledge and training the next generation. This has lead me to obtain my PhD, and now continue into a postdoctoral position at Cornell University. I am currently tackling the effects of chronic infection in Drosophila melanogaster together with two talented undergraduate researchers in the Lazzaro lab.

I believe that biology education should focus on training critical thinking and instilling a passion for biology through connections to everyday life. This is critical not only for future researchers, but for the entire community.

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These are my past and present mentees, if you are interested in joining the Chambers Lab please contact me and we'll set up an appointment!

Current Research Trainees




Cynthia Filpo-Diaz, Chemistry Major, Class of 2018

Determining the impact of infection on chemical signaling of Drosophila melanogaster.

My project will explore how infection of Providencia rettgeri in Drosophila melanogaster affects chemical signals related to sexual attractiveness. Specifically, cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) serve as pheromones and may indicate the health of prospective mating partners to female flies. CHCs will be extracted from infected male flies and analyzed to compare to those of healthy male flies. We expect to see differences in the length of the carbon chains or the number of double bonds, which would hypothetically allow females to detect the health of the prospective mating partner.



Melissa McCarter, Biology Major, Class of 2018

Determining the impact of infection on mating choice in Drosophila melanogaster.

My research will determine how male infection status in Drosophila melanogaster affects their courtship behavior and overall fitness. Since females incur costs from reproduction, they will benefit from resisting males infected with Providencia rettgeri. Females may be able to determine the fitness of a male based on his ability to perform courtship displays. In order to determine if infection status affects female choice and male success, I will be observing behavioral traits in infected and uninfected male flies with healthy females.

Shahil Patel, Biology Major, Class of 2020

Determining the impact of infectious dose on persistence in Drosophila melanogaster.



Frank Satriale, Cell Bio/BioChemistry Major, Class of 2019

Tolerance vs. resistance during co-infection of Drosophila melanogaster

My project is focused on studying the immune response of Drosophila melanogaster to microbial pathogens upon infection. Specifically, I am measuring whether it is tolerance or resistance to infection that increases survival upon secondary infection following initial infection. In the context of my project, resistance may be measured by how well the fly kills off the pathogen, and tolerance may be measured by the ability of the fly to survive a given infection level. I will be measuring bacterial load using both culture and qPCR post secondary infection to distinguish between resistance and tolerance.


Yojan Shah, Biology Major, Class of 2020


Former Research Trainees

Individual research trainees are listed, with current occupation in parentheses (*Co-authored publications, ^Presented research at national meeting).

Former Undergraduate Trainees

Rita Esposito, Muhlenberg College, 2015-2016 (Biology and Theater Major, Class of 2017)

Katherine Nichols, Muhlenberg College, 2015-2016 (Biology Major, Class of 2018)^

Conor Prendergast, Muhlenberg College, 2015-2016 (Neuroscience Major, Class of 2018)

Kayla Staub, Muhlenberg College, 2015-2016 (Neuroscience Major, Class of 2017)

Samantha Tener, Muhlenberg College, 2015-2016 (Biology Major, Class of 2018)^

Eliana Jacobson, Cornell University, 2013-2015 (Post-bac at NIH)*^ 

Sarah Khalil, Cornell University, 2012-2014, (PhD student at Tulane University)*^

Adesanya Akinleye, LSAMP Cornell University, Summer 2013 (Biology major at York-CUNY)*     

Brittney Nguyen, Stanford University, Spring 2012 (PhD Student at UC Berkeley)

Nilasha Ghosh, Stanford University, Summer 2009 (MD Student at UC Irvine; Resident at Northwestern Medicine)              

William Leon, SSRP Stanford University, Summer 2012 (MD Student at UC-Riverside)                    

Emmanuelle Benkoski, Stanford University, 2009-2010 (Resident at Univ. Pittsburgh Medical Center)                    

Milana PeBenito, SSRP Stanford University, Summer 2008, (Resident at UCSF)                             


Former High School Trainees

Austin Milunovich, RABS Cornell University, Summer 2013 (Undeclared at Harvard University)*            

Avni Gupta, Stanford University, 2011-2012 (Biology at Univ. Pittsburgh)*