Marlene Belfort

Marlene Belfort, Ph.D.
Dr. Marlene Belfort is a distinguished professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, UAlbany, SUNY. 

She also holds an adjunct professorship in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer (RPI). 

After graduating with a B.S. degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Belfort received her Ph.D. degree in molecular biology at the University of California at Irvine, and performed post-doctoral work at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel and at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. 

Dr. Belfort held a research appointment at Wadsworth Center in Albany, where she also served as the director of the Genetics Division. Dr. Belfort is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. 

She served on the board of directors of the RNA Society and on the Board of Advisors of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Evolutionary Biology Program, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Research Center and the Bay Paul Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory.  Dr. Belfort’s research interests are in splicing, mobility and evolution of self-splicing introns and inteins, and their application to biotechnology and medicine.  

She has trained many tens of Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows. A goal of hers is to promote the careers of women in science, on which she has written, and for which she was recognized by the American Society for Microbiology with the Alice Evans Award for her contributions toward fostering the advancement of women. 

In addition to being continuously funded by the NIH for >30 years, including a 10-year MERIT award, she has served on many study sections. She chaired the NIH Microbial Genetics study section, as well as the prestigious Pioneer Award and Early Independence Award study sections. She currently serves on the NIH Council of Councils.

Rebecca McCarthy Administrative Officer

Rebecca McCarthy

Manuscript preparation, grant management, and assisting with
day-to-day resposibilities

Olga Novikova Olga Novikova, PhD
Graduate Institution: Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia
Research Focus: Interplay between the LtrB Lactococcal group II intron and the gene it occupies. Evolutionary history of inteins in bacteria and archaea.
Christopher Lennon Christopher Lennon, PhD
Graduate Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Focus: Biochemical and genetic studies of conditional protein splicing in bacteria and archaea.
Valjean Bacot-Davis, PhD
Graduate Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Focus: Mycobacterial posttranslational protein splicing as a promising new antimicrobial platform to address the global health burden of tuberculosis. Characterize and test splicing inhibitors of mycobacterial DnaB, SufB, and RecA inteins.
Pradeepa Jayachandran Pradeepa Jayachandran, PhD
Graduate Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD
Research Focus: Understanding the role of inteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis.

Xiolong Dong Xiaolong (Eren) Dong
Undergraduate Institution: Dalian Ocean University, Dalian, China
Research Focus: Silencing factors of bacterial group II intron in eukaryotes.
Cathleen Green Cathleen Green
Undergraduate Institution: College of St. Rose, Albany, NY
Research Focus: Studying the role of inteins in pathogenic microbes, with a focus on fungal inteins, and assessing intein distribution in eukaryotes.
Justin Waldern
Undergraduate Institution:Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH
Research Focus: Studying the relationship between the LtrB group II intron and its host, L. lactis.

Dorie Smith Dorie Smith
Undergraduate Institution: Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
Research Focus: Various projects involving the Lactococcus lactis LtrB group II intron.
Matt Stanger Matt Stanger
Undergraduate Institution: Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 
Research Focus: Protein engineering, expression and purification. Figure rendering for publications.

Carol Lyn Piazza Carol Lyn Piazza
Undergraduate Institution: George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Research Focus: Structural studies of the Lactococcus lactis LtrB Group II intron, and intron induced gene silencing in yeast.


Maggie Huang
Major: Human Biology
Research Focus: Identifying and characterizing Lactococcus lactis mutants affecting the LtrB Group II intron retrotransposition.

Seymour Suncin

Seymour Suncin
Major: Biology
Research Focus: Lactococcus lactis host factors affecting LtrB Group II intron retrotransposition.

Celeste Verdolivo
Major: Biology
Research Focus: Researching host factors that affect retrotransposition of the LtrB Group II Intron in Lactococcus lactis.

Ike Egbunam
Major: Biochemistry
Research Focus: Investigation of factors that control mycobacterial intein splicing using "splice or die" genetic assay.

Natalyn Walts
Major: Biology
Research Focus: Working on intein minimization for antimicrobial compound development.


Beth Solomon
Major: Biology