Lab Members

Jordan E Bisanz PhD

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Jordan received his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Western Ontario where he was drawn to human microbiome research as an undergraduate. Working with Gregor Reid at the Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotic Research, he studied how lactobacilli and gut microbes interact with environmental pollutants which included stints in Mwanza Tanzania, and the Pasteur Institute in Lille. For his postdoctoral training, he moved to UC San Francisco to work with Peter Turnbaugh focusing on merging computational and experimental methods to dissect the interactions between microbes, diet, drugs, and the host. Jordan has been fortunate to receive funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, The Canadian International Development Agency, and continuing funding from the NIH/ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. When not in the lab, Jordan enjoys playing music (mediocrely but loudly), and experimenting with fermentation at home. A CV is available for download here .

Ben Anderson

BMMB Graduate Student

Ben completed his undergrad at Purdue University majoring in Biochemistry. Between undergrad and graduate school, he worked as a lab technician at the Penn State College of Medicine. There he worked in Dr. Wei Li’s lab where he assisted with Glioblastoma research. Ben is working on a xenobiotics project focusing on the effects of non-antibiotic drugs on the gut microbiome. Outside of lab, Ben can be found on evening runs, weekend hiking trips, and watching Purdue basketball games.



Daniela Betancurt-Anzola

BMMB Graduate Student

Daniela received her double BSc degree in Microbiology and Biology, and her MSc in Computational Biology from the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. During her MSc, she studied how high-fiber diets modulate the gut microbiome and host metabolism metabolic syndrome. She also worked as a research technician at Cornell University in the Human Development Department. There, she performed learning and memory studies in rats and carried out human gut microbiome studies. Her research interests focus on the ecology of the gut microbiome and how it affects the host’s physiology and health. She likes hiking, jogging, and reading non-fiction books in her free time.



Min Soo Kim

BMMB Graduate Student

Min Soo received his bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Swarthmore College, right outside Philadelphia, PA. After graduating, he worked as a research technician at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in the Corporate Strategic Research to develop novel catalysts and high-efficiency processing of natural gases. He then worked at the Metabolomics Core at the Cardiovascular institute at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine where he utilized liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to quantitate metabolites in biological samples for the Philadelphia research community, external research investigators and industry. Since joining the Bisanz lab in 2022, Min Soo is excited to delve into the world of microbiome and investigate the interactions of microbial and host metabolic processes!

Susan Tian

BMMB Graduate Student

Susan is the first student in the Bisanz Lab! She received her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology from Rochester Institute of Technology and worked as a research technician at Litron Laboratories designing high-throughput genetic toxicology testing, assaying genotoxins, and watering the plants. Susan is be studying synthetic microbiome transplants for C. difficile infection.

Two truths and one lie: I love chocolate. I love chocolate flavored food. I am allergic to bananas.

Jingcheng Zhao PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Jingcheng received his bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Engineering from Zhejiang University and PhD in Nutritional Sciences from Iowa State University. His research focus is the effects of diet on gut microbes with expertise in both bioinformatic and laboratory analyses. Working with Dr. Wendy White, he studied the prebiotic effects of a cranberry beverage on the human gut microbiota. Jingcheng is investigating how gut microbes affect nutrient absorption. He loves playing soccer and badminton in his free time.


Ahmed Al-Thenyan

Undergraduate Student

Ahmed is a junior studying biochemistry and molecular biology with a focus on cellular biology. In his spare time, he can be found working as a volunteer firefighter with the local fire company and plans to get his EMT certification through Pennsylvania State in the upcoming semesters. When he graduates, he aims to spend his gap year working full-time as an EMT/firefighter somewhere in Oregon where he was born before starting a MD/PhD program. In his free time he loves working out and Muay Thai, doodling and sketching and even is currently taking an art class for non-art majors.


Dean Miller

Undergraduate Student

Dean is a sophomore majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology who joined the Bisanz lab in September, 2021. He performed research his freshman year isolating antibacterial compounds from a soil sample, and now in the Bisanz lab he will be engineering a bacterial strain to degrade methylmercury into less toxic forms. Outside of the lab, he enjoys hiking, playing sports, and attending Penn State sports games.


Heejung Koo

Undergraduate Student

Heejung is a freshman studying biochemistry and molecular biology. She hopes to gain different sets of knowledge from each member of this lab environment. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books, listening to music, immersing herself in different art styles, and baking.