Indiana University, Bloomington IN, US Fall 2015- Expected Spring 2020
University of Montreal, Montreal QC, Canada
PhD in Microbiology
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY Fall 2009 – Spring 2013
Bachelor of Science,
Major: Biological Science
HONORS and AWARDS
Floyd Microbiology Summer Fellowship, Indiana University Summer 2017
Frank and Rosa Rhodes Scholarship, Cornell University Fall 2009- Spring 2013
Dean’s list, Cornell University Fall 2010
PhD Student at Indiana University, Bloomington IN Aug 2015- Present
Department of Microbiology
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Yves V. Brun
Thesis: Effect of Ionic strength on bacterial adhesins
• Established the genetic system in marine bacteria Hirschia baltica and used it to study the effects of ionic strength on holdfast adhesin
Honors thesis Research in Dr. Rebecca Nelson’s Lab Fall 2009 – Spring 2013
Honor Thesis Research
• Designed an independent research on the role of environment in Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin accumulation in corn.
Teaching Assistant at Indiana University, Bloomington IN
Microbiology lab with Dr. Carl Kulow Fall 2016 and Fall 2018
Biological Mechanisms with Dr. Megan Dunn Spring 2016
Lead QC Analytical Chemist
PCI Synthesis, Newburyport, MA Aug 2013 – July 2015
• Provided accurate and timely results for the samples submitted for analysis to support manufacturing and research and development departments. Utilized HPLC, GC, ultraviolet spectroscopy, FT-IR and titrimetry to assess the quality of raw material, in-process, final and stability compounds. Wrote and validate SOPs for Method Development and R&D group. Review secondary data for analyses conducted by other analysts.
Research Assistant I
Cornell University Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbes Aug 2009 – Jun 2013
Dr. Rebecca Nelson lab.
• Performed lab projects- extract DNA and RNA data analysis for genotyping, PCR, qPCR analysis and SDS PAGE. Set up bio assays, inoculated and counted spores, and score the level of disease infection
KenSAP Student President.
Boston, MA August 2011 - July 2012 Organized 4 reunions and events in Boston and New York city, oriented new students from Kenya, coordinated with KenSAP benefactors and chaired the student meetings. Drafted and passed the new KenSAP constitution. Dealt with more than 100 international students across US colleges.
• Chepkwony, N. K., Berne, C., & Brun, Y. V. (2019). Comparative analysis of ionic strength tolerance between freshwater and marine Caulobacterales adhesins. Journal of Bacteriology, JB.000**-*****. doi:10.1128/jb.00061-19
• Chepkwony, N. K. and Brun, Y.V. (2020). Increased level of polysaccharide adhesive deacetylation enhances bacterial binding in high ionic strength environment. In preparation for Molecular Microbiology.
• Mutiga, S.K., Chepkwony, N.K., Hoekenga, O. A., Flint-Garcia, S.A. and Nelson, R.J. (2018). The role of ear environment in post-harvest susceptibility of maize to toxigenic Aspergillus flavus. Plant Breed. 2018;00:1–13.
• Indiana University Microbiology Annual Retreat, Nashville IN Sept 2016. Poster title: Properties and composition of Holdfast adhesin.
• Indiana University Microbiology Annual Retreat, Nashville IN Sept 2017. Talk title: Adaptation of Holdfast adhesin in different ionic environments.
• American Society of Microbiology conference on Biofilms, Washington DC, Oct 2018. Poster title: Characterization of the holdfast adhesin of marine bacteria Hirschia baltica.
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) • Analytica Chemistry •Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) • Gas Chromatography • Protein Purification • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) • Molecular Cloning • Molecular Biology • SDS-PAGE • Drug Discovery • Fluorescence Microscopy • Project Management • Product Development • Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) • Team Leader • Teaching • Microsoft office- Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams • Genotyping •DNA electrophoresis • Pharmaceutical Research • Analytical Method Validation • Karl Fischer Titration • Laboratory Safety • Stability Studies • Molecular Genetics • HPLC-MS • AKTA • Small Molecules •GraphPad Prism • IR Spectroscopy • ImageJ • Titration • Bioassay • Adhesives • Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients • qPCR analysis •DNA/RNA sequencing • Protein purification •Electrophoresis •Bioassays • GMPs/GLPs principles, ICH guidelines and compendial