David Esteban

I am a microbiologist and teacher at Vassar College, a small liberal arts college in NY state. I teach courses on microbiology, virology, general biology, and zombies

I got my BSc from the University of Calgary in 1998. I did an undergraduate research project on the effects of an the anti-inflammatory effects of an antibiotic. I received my PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from St, Louis University. I studied how poxviruses evade the immune system, specifically looking at a viral protein that binds to and blocks interleukin-18. I then spent three years as a post-doc at the University of Victoria, where I studied viral bioinformatics and taught my first microbiology class. I came to Vassar in 2007. For several years I continued my work on poxviruses, but then switched to studying bacterial communities in soil and sediment. Now my interests in bacterial communities and viruses are coming together as I explore the role and diversity of viruses in soil.


Current Students:

Ellena Nador ’18: Using  iChips to Improve Diversity of Winogradsky Column Isolates

Alexander Bashaw ’18: Growth Factor Produced by Cladosporium Fungus Reduces Lag Phase of Slow Growing Bacteria

Monica Feeley ’19: Development of bean beetle model to study effects of gut microbiome on behavior

Clara Berard ’18: Viral and Bacterial Abundance in Winogradsky Columns over a Five Day Period

Caro Geary ’18: Perturbation of Gut Microbiota Impairs Cued Fear Recall in Female but not Male C57BL/6 Mice

Monty Kwan ’18: The Effect of Bacteriophage Manipulation on Bacterial Cultivability

Victoria Wilk ’20: Effects of antimicrobial treatment on cued fear recall in mice

Past Students:

Kylie Prutisto-Chang ’17: Effects of virucidal treatments on microbial communitieis of Winogradsky columns.  After Vassar: Research Assistant, MGH

Carly Scher ’17: Influence of viral abundance on microbial community structure in Winogradsky columns

Samanvaya Sharma ’18: Measurement of redox conditions in developing Winogradsky colums

Derek Arrowood ’16: Effects of salt and disruption on Winogradsky column microbial communities.  After Vassar: MS program in evolutionary medicine, UCLA

Maggie Ginoza ’16   (STS): Crowdfunding of Winogradsky column virome sequencing.  After Vassar: National Institute of Human Genome Research

Bethany Terry ’16: Development of epifluorescence technique for virus counts.  After Vassar: PhD program in microbiology, Temple University

Nina Andersen ’15: Identification of cyanophages in Wnogradsky columns using PCR         After Vassar: Research assistant (HIV), Seattle Children’s Hospital

Colette Fletcher-Hoppe ’15: Microbes in oak and maple dominated forest soils (with Lynn Christenson, co-advisor) After Vassar: National Human Genome Research Institute, PhD program in Oceanography, USC

Bledi Hysa ’15: Identification of CRISPRs in Winogradsky columns using PCR, Video analysis of Winogradsky panel time-lapse movie . After Vassar: Clinical research assistant, Cornell University, MD SUNY Downstate

Maya Khatri ’15: Isolation of DNA from vinegar mothers for microbial community characterization  (with David Jemiolo, co-advisor). After Vassar: Joslin Diabetes Clinic, Clinical Research Study Coordinator.

Whitney Manhart ’15: Immunopathogenesis of malaria. After Vassar: PhD program in virology at BU

Elyse Symer ’15

Casey Bartow-McKenney ’14: Characterization of CRISPR sequences in Winogradsky columns,  Microbial community analysis of Maple and Oak soils that differ in nitrification rates. After Vassar: PhD program in Bioinformatics, UPenn

Matthew Norstadt ’14

Nathan Tauger ’14: Quantification of viruses in Winogradsky Panels. After Vassar: Masters in Science Communication, U of Manchester

Haley Caldwell ’13: Characterization of a novel bacterial species of PhenylobacteriumAfter Vassar: Masters in Laboratory Science, Wadsworth Center NY Public Health Lab.

Ethan Rundell ’13: 16S rRNA gene survey of microbial communities in Winogradsky columns. After Vassar: PhD program, Yale University.  Topic: Disruption of antibiotic resistance mechanisms in P. aeurginosa

Keven Cabrera ’12: SiRNA knockdown of poxvirus non-coding gene vhRNA. After Vassar:  Clinical research coordinator, Columbia Medical Center.  MD program, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ.

Irene Kho ’12:  Assembly of Winogradsky column transcriptome. After Vassar: Clinical research associate, anaesthesiology, Montefiore Medical Center.  MD, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Sherine Thomas ’11: qPCR of immunoproteasome gene expression changes during ectromelia virus infection. After Vassar: Clinical research in coronary artery disease.  Masters in Nursing, Boston College.

Anna Licht ’10: Characterization of gene expression in ECTV-IL4 infected cells. After Vassar: Research assistant at Ragon Institute, pursuing MD at Wisconsin Medical College

Emily Berger ’10: Analysis of ECTV-vhRNA knockout virus. After Vassar: Disaster response, American Red Cross.  Academic Director of medical non-profit, Bolivia.  MD, U Maryland-Baltimore.

Anne Hutchinson ’09: Poxvirus genome evolution. After Vassar: MD (Jefferson Medical College), OBGYN Residency (NY-Presbyterian-Cornell)

Chaim Tuckman-Vernon ’09   





3 thoughts on “People”

  1. Hello ! I found your post on the the Winogradsky panels and I was curious to know where I might be able to obtain some empty panels like that? I am an artist working on a project surrounding the Hudson River, and have an upcoming exhibition and want to include Winogradsky panels in the exhibit :) Any help would be greatly appreciated – I am hoping to find 3 of them if possible. :) Many thanks for any assistance in advance :)

  2. Hello Professor Esteban,
    I took your virology course a few years ago, and I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate this blog! I am currently teaching AP Biology, and we are discussing viruses in class. I am definitely going to share some of the interesting articles and information you post.
    Just wanted to say hello! Thanks.

  3. Thank-you for sharing your blog! It is great to have access to information and photography that is easy to understand, as well as joyful to see students learning and willing to share their observations. Keep sharing and happy learning.

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Teaching and Research on the Microbial World in the Liberal Arts

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