Welcome New Faculty Dr. Sandra Loesgen and lab members to Whitney

Welcome New Faculty Dr. Sandra Loesgen and lab members to Whitney

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Please welcome Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Sandra Loesgen, and her lab to Whitney Laboratory! The Loesgen Lab is focused on understanding the diversity and bioactivity of the chemicals produced by microorganisms, with an emphasis on compounds with medical applications. They employ a multi-disciplinary approach to isolate compounds produced by under-explored groups of microorganisms, and identify chemicals with anticancer, antibacterial, or antiviral activity. 

Recent projects in the Loesgen lab have surveyed the chemicals produced by endophytic fungi and rare actinomyctes, and have yielded several novel and highly active compounds. Ongoing research examines the chemicals produced by other microbial strains, the chemistry of symbiosis within microbial communities, and the pharmacology of newly-identified compounds.

Loesgen Lab Members

Elizabeth Kaweesa | Ph.D. Student

Elizabeth Kaweesa was born and raised in Uganda, East Africa and moved to the United States 11 years ago. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas in 2013. She is currently a 5th year PhD candidate in chemistry/ pharmaceutical sciences and her research focuses on microbial natural products for cancer applications. In one of her projects, she investigates the cellular mechanism of action of the bacterial natural product mensacarcin as a potent anti-cancer drug lead. She enjoys singing, reading, and traveling.

Paige Mandelare | Ph.D. Student

Paige received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, with a minor in Mathematical Science, from the University of North Florida. In 2013, she joined Dr. Loesgen’s Lab at Oregon State University as a Ph.D. student. She now continues her Ph.D studies in the Loesgen Lab at Whitney Laboratory. Her research focuses on marine microbes and characterizing their metabolites using a variety of chemistry techniques. Many of the isolated compounds exhibit unique biological activities such as anti-cancer, anti-fungal, and/or anti-bacterial. In her spare time, she likes to train/complete triathlons, collect beach treasures/rocks, and take care of her kitten, Stormy.