The Team

Lori Burrows, Principal Investigator


Professor Lori Burrows is a microbiologist, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and international expert on the structure, function, and regulation of type IV pili (T4P). She has published over 120 peer reviewed papers, reviews, and book chapters. She is currently the Associate Director (Partnerships and Outreach) of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Diseases Research and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Bacteriology (ASM), the Journal of Biochemistry (ASBMB), and ACS Infectious Diseases. 

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Hanjeong Harvey, Lab Manager

Hanjeong has been the Burrows lab manager since 2006. She holds a MSc degree in Microbiology and is responsible for daily operations of the lab, safety, and training of new lab members. She helps with most of the projects in the lab in addition to working on isolation of type IV pilus-specific bacteriophages as research tools and potential therapeutics for antibiotic resistant bacteria. In 2018 she was awarded the Michael Kamin Hart Staff Award from the Michael G. DeGroote Institute of Infectious Disease Research in recognition of her ongoing commitment to excellence in research, training, and community.



Anne Drumond Villela, Postdoctoral Fellow

Anne joined the Burrows lab in February 2018, after completing her post-doctoral fellowship at PUCRS University, Brazil. During her time at PUCRS, Anne evaluated new compounds as drug candidates for tuberculosis and investigated their molecular targets in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In the Burrows lab, Anne is evaluating pilin from Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a vaccine antigen for tuberculosis in collaboration with the Xing Lab. Anne is also looking at the mechanism of pilin glycosylation with D-arabinofuranose in P. aeruginosa.



Derek Chuk-Kin Chan, PhD Candidate

Derek completed a BSc at the University of Waterloo in biochemistry and worked co-op positions at Apotex looking for drug candidates to treat Parkinson’s disease. He joined the Burrows Lab in 2018 and is studying how thiopeptide antibiotics cross the outer membrane of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is using biofilm stimulation as a proxy to look for new antimicrobials.


Victoria Coles, Masters Candidate

Victoria completed her BSc at McMaster University in the Integrated Science (Biochemistry concentration) program before joining the Burrows Lab as a Master's student in 2019 to continue her research. Her research involves using the biofilm stimulation phenotype to identify new antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant infections.


Katie Graham, Masters Candidate

Katie joined the Burrows’ lab in 2019 after completing her BSc at McMaster in the Integrated Science program. In the Burrows’ lab, Katie researches the molecular machinery of type IV pili, fibers used by several pathogenic bacteria for surface attachment. Her research also involves advanced microscopy techniques for bacterial cell biology studies. Katie holds a Canadian Graduate Scholarship from CIHR.


Luke Yaeger, PhD Candidate

Before starting his MSc in the Burrows Lab, Luke graduated from McMaster’s Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization program where he completed a senior research thesis characterizing Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophage. In 2019, Luke transitioned from an MSc to a PhD where he is now studying how P. aeruginosa and E. coli relay antibiotic-induced stress to stimulate biofilm formation. Outside the lab, Luke competed for McMaster’s Varsity Track and Field team and enjoys thinking about science policy.



Michelle Armstrong

Michelle is a fourth-year Molecular Biology and Genetics student who began her work in the Burrows lab as a summer student. Now working on her Biology thesis, Michelle is isolating bacteriophages from the environment using iron limiting conditions to create a library of diverse phages for future use in therapy. In her free time, Michelle enjoys volunteering with animals, working as a McMaster Science rep, spending time with friends and family.


Irene Guo

Irene is a fourth year student in the Biochemistry program. She began working in the Burrows lab in Summer 2019 as a Cystic Fibrosis Canada Summer Student where she identified iron chelator and antibiotic drug combinations that are active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. As part of her senior thesis project, Irene continues to identify more antibiotic combinations while studying the relationship between iron chelators and the pyoverdine pathway.


Farheen Khan

Farheen is a fourth year Biochemistry student completing her senior thesis in the Burrows Lab. Having enjoyed previous summer research positions and lab-based courses, Farheen has been excited to work on her thesis project - Investigating the Function(s) of Group III Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pilin Accessory Protein, TfpY. She looks forward to gaining valuable research experience, learning about type IV pili and bacteriophages, and further developing her written and communication skills. Outside of the lab, Farheen enjoys photography, baking, dancing, and spending time with her friends and family. 


Ivana Tang

Ivana is currently completing her bachelor's degree in the Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization program at McMaster University. Her interests in research and antibiotic discovery have led her to the Burrow's lab where she is working on her fourth-year thesis. Ivana's aim for her thesis project is to more efficiently quantify biofilm formation stimulated by sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics with the use of reporters in order to facilitate high-throughput screening. Outside of the lab, Ivana enjoys singing in various McMaster choirs and playing softball.