Ethel Bayer Santos – Assistant Professor

Originally from a paradisiac island in the south of Brazil. Ethel spent time in the US and UK for her Ph.D. and postdoc, before returning to Brazil to establish her lab and put idealistic ideas into practice. After 5 years, the EBSLab moved to Austin to continue the pursuit of exciting biological questions. When not having fun at the lab, Ethel can be found at nice green places where she can work in amateur environmentalist projects for the conservation of native species.

Yan Li – Postdoctoral Fellow

Grown up in the panda’s paradise of Sichuan in China, Yan completed his doctoral studies in the UK, specializing in bioinformatics and Salmonella genomics. He brings his experience and enthusiasm for bioinformatics to the EBSLab, where he explores the T6SS effectors and immunity proteins hidden within various biological datasets. Outside of computational biology, Yan enjoys endurance sports and is often found training for marathons and trail races.


Julia Takuno Hespanhol – Graduate Student

Born and raised in the concrete jungle of Sao Paulo, Julia embarked on the mission of hunting T6SS effector during her undergraduate studies. After a master’s in the Bayer-Santos lab in Brazil, she is now a Ph.D. student focusing on characterizing novel Salmonella antibacterial weapons. Outside the lab, she practices her questionable artistic skills, explores city parks and the outdoors.


Joseph P. Munoz – Research Assistant

Joseph is a native Texan and a proud product of San Benito, which is a small town in the Rio Grande Valley. He earned his Bachelor’s in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas at Austin. Here he gained a love for the small things in life, especially bacteria, and he is excited to join the EBSLab to help contribute to research surrounding the T6SS. Apart from the lab, Joseph enjoys playing recreational sports with friends and going for runs around the Austin community. He is also an avid Texas sports fan, so you can be sure to find him supporting the Longhorns on game days.


Ethan S. Schommer – Undergraduate Student

Ethan was originally born in Washington and moved to San Antonio for high school. He is currently majoring in biology at UT Austin with a focus in microbiology and infectious diseases. It has always been his goal to work in a wet lab and eventually obtain a PhD, specializing in immunology. His particular area of interest surrounds the immune system and how it reacts to infectious pathogens. In the EBSLab, Ethan plans to elucidate the mechanisms by which Salmonella utilizes the T6SS to target eukaryotic cells. Outside of his academic interests, he enjoys going to the gym, exploring Austin with his friends, being outdoors, and spending time at home with his cat, Broccoli.


Kristi T. Pham – Undergraduate Student

Entering her fourth year of undergrad, Kristi is actively pursuing a B.S. in Computational Biology and is eager to contribute to the EBSLab using computational techniques to unravel the intricacies of the T6SS system. Aside from academic pursuits, she can be found with her furry companion, Acorn, at various parks or testing out a new coffee shop within the city.



Eleazar Gonzalez-Adame  – Undergraduate Student

Eleazar is a rising junior studying biochemistry at the University of Texas. With a keen interest in proteins and biochemistry, Eleazar enjoys laboratory benchwork focused on unraveling the inner workings of protein machinery, particularly as they relate to microbiology. Outside of the laboratory, Eleazar is a cozy homebody who occasionally ventures out to explore the city and its parks.



Previous members

Gianlucca Gonçalves Nicastro – Senior Scientist/Bioinformatician

Stephanie Sibinelli de Sousa – Graduate Student

Daniel Enrique Sanchez Limache – Graduate Student

André Luiz de Araújo Silva – Graduate student

Gustavo Chagas Santos – Undergraduate student

Lior Karman – Undergraduate student

Luize Nobrega e Silva – Undergraduate student