top of page

The team

These are the amazing people that make magic happens


Monica Cartelle Gestal, PhD

Assistant Professor Microbiology and Immunology

Gratis Associate Professor in Pediatrics


Nicholas First

PhD Student


I am a PhD student, from Madison, Wisconsin. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a minor in Biochemistry from Mississippi State University. My favorite band is the Beatles and I love hiking and adventures whenever they are afoot.


Katelyn Parrish

PhD student

I am a PhD student in the Gestal lab, and I am interested in bacterial pathogenesis. I earned my Bachelor's degree in biology, with a concentration in microbiology and a minor in chemistry from Southeastern Louisiana University. I was born and raised in Louisiana! I have two cats, a bearded dragon, and I love thrift/antique shopping in my free time!

smart photo.jpg

Gabrielle Miller

SMART Student 2022-2023

I am a senior at Caddo Magnet High School. I wanted to participate in the SMART program because I want to learn more about science and gain knowledge that would be beneficial in my pursuit of a career in forensic science. I enjoy spending time with friends and running my own small business.


Emily Cox

Summer Undergraduate Student 2022

I am Emily Cox, I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Louisiana Tech University. After Graduation I hope to attend LSUHSC in the MD/PhD program. I applied for the Undergraduate Research Fellowship to gain experience in research and to fuel my love for science and learning. 


Courtney M. Gregoire

MD student, class 2024


I am a first year medical student from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I earned bachelor’s degrees in Microbiology and French from Louisiana State University. After graduation, I hope to pursue a career in Infectious Disease. I enjoy cooking and exploring new recipes, as well as spending time outdoors playing beach volleyball.

bottom of page