Skip to main content




Breann L. Brown, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry

Dr. Brown was born and raised in the DC metro area (PG County!). She received her Ph.D. from Brown University with Dr. Rebecca Page where she investigated protein pairs that play a role in bacterial multidrug tolerance and chronic biofilm infections. She then completed her postdoctoral training at MIT Department of Biology with Dr. Tania A. Baker where she used X-ray crystallography and biochemical techniques to study mechanisms of protein assembly in both bacteria and human metabolic systems. Arriving at Vanderbilt in 2019, her lab uses structural biology to understand how mitochondrial proteins assemble to maintain human health…We also love donuts 🍩



Pedro Ayres Galhardo

Research Assistant

Originally from Brazil, Pedro received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Lipscomb University in 2022. During his time there, he worked under Dr. Brian Cavitt in his project to define and prevent the thermodynamic process of bacterial biofilm formation. Also in 2022, Pedro joined the Brown lab as a research assistant and now aids the lab members in their work. When not in the Lab, Pedro likes to read, cook and spend time with his friends. #cookiemonster


Maggie R Josling

Research Technician, Biochemistry

Originally from New Jersey, Maggie received her B.S. in Biology from Elon University in 2023. While there, she worked under Dr. Andrea Perreault in her project to identify how novel intrinsically disordered fusion proteins drive the development of Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia. She joined the Brown lab as a research assistant in 2024 and aids lab members in their work. Outside of the lab, Maggie is a reader, baker, and huge hockey fan. Let’s go Rangers!



Iva Chitrakar, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist, Biochemistry

Iva graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a B.S. in Biotechnology and from Stony Brook University with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Structural Biology. In the Brown lab, Iva is investigating how protein interactions underlie mitochondrial DNA maintenance and heme synthesis feedback regulation. #MRB3

Graduate Students


Alexis Roberson

VU-Fisk Master's Graduate Student

Alexis received her B.S. in Chemistry from Emory University. As an undergraduate, she worked under Dr. David Lynn to examine the role of intra/intermolecular interactions in the formation of supramolecular structures from peptide-peptide and peptide-nucleic acid assemblies. In the Brown lab, Alexis is investigating how protein-ligand interactions contribute to the regulation of heme biosynthesis. In her spare time, Alexis likes to listen to music, watch movies, and have game nights with friends. #malexis


Jessica Taylor

PhD Candidate, Biochemistry

Jessica received her BS and MS degrees in Chemistry from Tennessee Tech University. She joined Vanderbilt IGP in Fall 2018 and became the first Brown Lab member in Spring 2019🎉. She is taking a structural and biochemical approach to determine how protein assembly controls heme biosynthesis during red blood cell development. #cheeseball


Jenny Tran

Ph.D. Candidate, Biochemistry

Jenny received her B.S.Chem degree from the University of Georgia. She joined the Brown Lab from the QCB program in Spring 2021. She is taking a structural and computational approach to determine how divergent protein motifs impact heme biosynthesis in organism- or tissue-specific ways. #fightclub



Emma Peacock

Visiting VSSA undergraduate summer student from Auburn University. Current PhD student at Vanderbilt University


    Nicolle Serrano

    Research Assistant I

    Nicolle earned her BS in Biology from University of North Georgia. She came to the Brown Lab as a Research Assistant in Summer 2019 after training in the Vanderbilt Mass Spec Research Center. She is currently a Research Associate II in the Center for Development of Therapeutics at the Broad Institute (Cambridge, MA).


      Jazmyn Wall

      2021 Visting Summer Aspirnaut Research undergraduate student (Tennessee State University)