Center for Infectious Disease Research

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September, 2011

Renee Penoske
Research Associate I
Dr. Thomas Zahrt Laboratory

Degree - B.S. in Microbiology

Joined MCW in April, 1998

What brought you to MCW?
I was really excited to start at MCW in the Pharmacology Department about 6 months after I graduated, because I really wanted a research job.  I was working in the microbiology department at a food ingredients company at the time, and I needed something less routine and more challenging.

What are your current responsibilities?
I now work for Dr. Tom Zahrt as lab manager, and I have my own projects too.  I've mainly worked on constructing transposon mutant libraries in both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Francisella tularensis.  Currently, I'm trying several approaches to screen those libraries.  Both organisms require working in a BSL-3 laboratory, so that always involves thoughtful planning and careful experimental techniques.

Favorite thing about your position?
I love being part of exciting research and working with the latest technology and equipment.  For me, my job is the perfect mix of administrative duties, molecular biology techniques, and tissue culture management.  Also, I've been really lucky to work with amazing students, faculty, and other research personnel.  They inspire me to keep improving!

Hobbies and outside of work interests?
Outside of work, I try to do as much reading and cooking as I can!  I live for football season, and I try to take a good walk every day with Charlie, my sweet, slobbery St. Bernard.

Interesting "Fun Fact"?
I have twin sisters who are 12 months younger than I am, and they're the perfect partners for adventure!  Our best so far?  Flying above the jungle in Belize on a zip line!

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