Aruna Menon

Aruna MenonMGM Graduate Students (2020)





Research Interest: I received my B.S. in Microbiology from UC Berkeley in 2018. During this time, I feel in love with the diversity of microbes as well as the tools used to understand microbial communities. As an undergraduate researcher, I was in two different research labs. My first experience was in Dr. John Coates’s lab where I utilized biogeochemical techniques to understand the metabolism of bacteria in oil reservoirs. After this, I transitioned to Dr. Noah Whiteman’s lab where I performed genetic analyses on a Drosophila gene that was hypothesized to play a role in parasitoid defense (update: it does play a role!).

Post-graduation, I joined Dr. Joshua Woodward’s lab at the University of Washington, Seattle as a lab manager and research scientist. There, I took the skills I gained in chemistry and genetics to study nitric oxide resistance in Listeria monocytogenes, a gastrointestinal pathogen.  I am super excited to start my Ph.D. at Duke and learn more about how chemistry, genetics, and bacterial physiology intersect to play a role in infectious disease!

Personal Interests: I have a lot of interests, and not enough time to do them all. Some of my favorites include singing (and now learning to play the guitar), hiking, sports (basketball, soccer, ice hockey), video games, watching TV, and various art projects. Also, I love dogs!

Publications List:

Kirsten I Verster, Jennifer H Wisecaver, Marianthi Karageorgi, Rebecca P Duncan, Andrew D Gloss, Ellie E Armstrong, Donald K Price, Aruna R Menon, Zainab M Ali, Noah K Whiteman, Horizontal Transfer of Bacterial Cytolethal Distending Toxin B Genes to Insects, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Volume 36, Issue 10, October 2019, Pages 2105–2110,