Fun (and Milestones)

Rachel presents at ARVO!

May 6, 2024

First student talk at a meeting, and one very proud PI! Rachel shared her project on how corneal epithelial cells detect and respond to live P. aeruginosa. (hint: it's not the same as just throwing a bunch of PAMPs at them!) 

Rachel also made great use of the conference badge ribbons! 

First publication

April 10, 2024

Our review on the historical observations and mechanistic studies of intracellular P. aeruginosa was published in the Journal of Bacteriology! Both Zach and Abby independently printed and taped the paper to their respective workspaces. 

Check it out here!

Welcome Millie and Gustavo!

February, 2024

As of December, we've grown to a group of five! 

Here, we took some inspiration from our friends and neighbors, the Mounce Lab, for our updated 2024 photo location. Unlike the Mounce lab, though, the Kroken lab's music taste is a bit more metal

First posters

October 21, 2023

Rachel and Adam presented posters at Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference! 

2023 Summer Party 

July 15, 2023

Belated welcome to Zach, the lab's first postdoc! He brings strong experience with S. aureus pathogenesis, macrophages, protein biochemistry, and some peptidoglycan purification protocols not for the faint of heart. 

Adam Thota, MS!

June 23, 2023

Adam successfully defended and earned his Master's degree! Thankfully, we don't even have to say goodbye. He'll be sticking around for a PhD starting this fall! 

Abby named Faculty Member of the Year!

October 28, 2022

Truly honored and humbled that the students selected me for this award. I promise to continue doing my best to help them with their projects and grow as scientists.


August 22, 2022

Today we recieved the lab's first Notice of Award. Hoping there at least a few more of these in our future!

First Party and Lab Photo

July 28, 2022

In 2022, the lab welcomed its first students, Rachel and Adam. Here, we also bid farewell to our inaugural lab member, Keith, who made the brave choice spend a year with a new PI fumbling through the chaotic journey of starting a lab. Keith went on to attend medical school at UIC.

The Beginning

February 1, 2021

Abby's first day at a new school. She receieved a COVID vaccine, an office, and an empty lab space.