Gaynor Lab - Lab Members


Erin Gaynor

Principal Investigator

B.A. and Ph.D., University of California San Diego; Postdoctoral, Stanford University








Emilisa Frirdich

Research Associate

Emilisa received her BSc in Honours Microbiology from the University of Guelph in 1998. During her undergraduate studies she had the opportunity to work for Bayer Inc. both in Canada and in Germany in various microbiology labs. Emilisa remained at the University of Guelph for her PhD studies in microbiology working under the supervision of Dr. Chris Whitfield. Her thesis involved the study of bacterial cell surfaces, more specifically lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, of the enteric pathogens Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. A better understanding of these structures is important in the development of novel therapeutics and vaccines against these organisms. She is currently pursuing postdoctoral studies with Dr. Gaynor and is in the process of identifying genes involved in Campylobacter jejuni pathogenesis.

Mark Pryjma, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Fellow

Mark received his Honours Bachelor of Science with a Specialist in Microbiology from the University of Toronto in 2006. During his final year, he completed a fourth year research project under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Bognar. His project involved determining the binding domain of folate derivatives in E. coli FPGS. Following graduation he volunteered for a year in the lab of Dr. Scott Gray-Owen. His research concentrated on the use of commensal Neisseria as putative vaccine strategies for Neisseria menengititis and gonorrhea. Mark received his Ph.D. in 2014 and is following up his work with related projects. His research in the Gaynor Lab focuses on oxidative stress in C. jejuni and host responses to infection.


Jenny Vermeulen

Research Technician

Jenny received her Honours B.Sc. in Microbiology at the University of British Columbia. In her undergraduate research she studied the DNA binding proteins of E. coli and phages T4 and T7 under the supervision of Dr. Robert Miller. After graduation she worked for Agriculture Canada at the Pacific Agriculture Research Centre, investigating the molecular structure and pathogenicity of viruses infecting small fruits such as raspberries and strawberries. She later worked in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Simpson at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics as part of the Pleiades Promoter Project, where she assisted in the creation of knock-in mice. Jenny joined Dr. Gaynor’s lab in July 2007 and is presently researching various mutants of C. jejuni.

Andrew Cameron

Graduate Student




Reuben Ha

Graduate Student





Martha Liu

Graduate Student








Former Laboratory Members

Dmitry Apel, Ph.D.

Dr. Dmitry Apel unfortunately passed away in 2013.  He was a valued and truly appreciated lab member, and a scholarship has been set up in his name to benefit graduate students in the UBC Department of Microbiology and Immunology who are in financial need.  Please visit to find out about the Dr. Dmitry Apel Memorial Scholarship.




Sarah Svensson, Ph.D.




Ann Lin, M.Sc.




Mizue Naito, M. Sc.



Adam Stapledon, M.Sc. student




Olivia Champion

Post-Doctoral Fellow



Danielle Ringoir

Post-Doctoral Fellow



Heather Candon, M. Sc.




Meghan McLennan, B. Sc.




Mark McCabe

Co-op Student



Ryan Walton





Laboratory Assistant

Zina Tebaikina

Brian Le