Vanderbilt (2006-2016)

From the Chef: Dear Vandy culinary artists, it was a pleasure and privilege cooking, frying, braising, baking, steaming, dicing, cutting, chopping and mincing with you. I love you all, let us keep in touch!


at Vanderbilt University:


Krassimira Garbett, PhD – Executive Chef
Staff Scientists, E-mail Krassi

Now: Staff Scientist at Vanderbilt U, Nashville, TN, USA

Krassi has unparalleled molecular biology skills, and two successful cloning projects outside the lab setting. With an unmatched personality and a contagious laugh, was the cohesive glue of the laboratory at Vanderbilt.


Rita Baldi, PhD – Slicing Chef
Postdoctoral Fellow, E-mail Rita

Now: Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt U, Nashville, TN, USA

Rita is an amazing electrophysiologist, a deep thinker and an avid fitness buff. She will always let you know when you are wrong, and she can fiercely debate her arguments. He laugh is infectious! Stolen away from us by the laboratory of a good friend (Dr. Sachin Patel), she will be always close to our hearts. 

Szatmar Horvath, MD, PhD – European Chef
Postdoctoral Fellow, E-mail Szati

Now: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, U of Szeged, Hungary

The best anatomist and histochemist ever. He is one of the sharpest, most knowledgeable scientists I ever met, with a particularly interesting outlook on life. He spent a year at our Bistro, and still works with us on various projects. The word is that he is a good drinking buddy, but the Chef would not know how reliable is this information. 

Maximilian Michel, PhD – Energy Chef
Postdoctoral Fellow, E-mail Max

Now: Research Investigator, U of Michigan, USA

Max spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow in a lab. He is smart, well-read with a broad scope of interests, and a pleasure to be around. He is pursuing adipostasis and glucose homeostasis studies.


Jacquelyn A. Brown, PhD – Dynamic Chef
Postdoctoral Fellow, E-mail Jackie

Now: VIIBRE staff scientist, Vanderbilt U, Nashville, TN

Jackie has an unparalleled determination, brilliant mind and a very collaborative nature. She is a creative, expert neuroscientist and has an unrivaled knowledge of cell cultures and latest technological advances. In Dr. Wikswo’s establishment she is critical for advancing joined neurobiology-microfluidics studies. 



Martin J. Schmidt, PhD – Sport Chef
Graduate Student, E-mail Martin

Now: Director of Clinical Development @ Kypha, St Louis, MO, USA

The ultimate dude and jock, with scientific and schmoozing tendencies. Due to some (not so hard work) and miraculous luck, he got a cooking degree in our establishment. Then he decided to cash in, and now serves as a corporate quasy-scientist. Way to go (we did not see this coming)!

Amanda C. Mitchell, PhD – Determined Chef
Graduate Student, E-mail Amanda

Now: Postdoctoral Fellow, Icahn SOM at Mt. Sinai, New York, USA

One of the most productive and hardest working students I had a privilege to have in the lab. She is quiet, deliberate, and very smart. With such an amazing publication record and skillset she will be a faculty member in no time. 

KelliKelli Money, PhD – Sommelier
Graduate Student, E-mail Kelli

Now: MSTP Student at Vanderbilt U, Nashville, TN, USA

She is smart, relaxed, self-confident and fun. Kelli has an amazing dive and positive outlook that can overcome all obstacles. As an MD/PhD student, she is a new breed of clinically oriented scientist, and we expect greatness from her in all arenas of her future work.


Sara Kalman, MD, PhD – Rising Chef
Exchange Student / Graduate Student, E-mail Sara

Now: Psychiatry Resident, U of Szeged, Hungary

Bright, pleasant, calm, eager to learn – Sara is destined to become an excellent physician-scientist. She spent two summers at Vanderbilt through the VISRA program, and her PhD project was completed between Vanderbilt and U of Szeged. She has already nice publications to her credit!


Danielle DeCampo, MD, PhD – Visiting Chef
Graduate Student

Now: Resident in Child Neurology, Johns Hopkins Medical School

A graduate student with Dr. Julie Fudge from University of Rochester, Danielle performed part of her thesis experiments in our laboratory. She is a quick learner, smart, dedicated and and amazing person. We just loved her attitude and cheerful personality. 


Andrea Vereczkei, PhD – Easy Going Chef
Exchange Student – E-mail Andrea

Now: Assistant lecturer, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Always cheerful and easy-going, yet knowledgeable and dedicated to her work. It was a pleasure having her work with us for a year. She brought a balance to the laboratory and reminded us that there are other things that matter beyond work. 

 Zita Oláh, BS – Pastry Chef
Exchange Student, E-mail Zita

Now: Graduate Student, U of Szeged, Hungary

Once she masters all the flavors, she will be a great chef! She is very motivated, eager to learn, smart, systematic and curious. Zita is aiming to discover biomarkers of brain disorders using peripheral tissue from patients.


Khine (Lwin) Krill, MD – Chef de Salle
Lab Manager, E-mail Khine

Now: Resident, U of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA

Witty, pleasant, always with a big smile, no job was too small, too big or insignificant for her. A true “can do” person, she always delivered more that we asked. She became an expert molecular biologist, and captured our hearts. She needs to be cloned!

Monika G. Everheart – Dining Hall Manager
Lab Manager, E-mail Mona

Now: Lab Manager at Vanderbilt U, Nashville, TN, USA

Mona is quiet, nice, gets along with everyone. She took great care of the laboratory at Vanderbilt and kept in line the misbehaving and temperamental bunch of chefs.



Troy Hackett, PhD – The Inspiring Chef
Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech, E-mail Troy.

Now: Professor of Hearing and Speech, Vanderbilt U, Nashville, TN

Troy is inventive, curious, dedicated yet calm and composed. He has his own, independent and very productive laboratory, yet he decided to learn some molecular biology, and Karoly served as a mentor on his NIH-funded K18 Award.


 Libin Xu, PhD – Oriental Chef
Research Assistant Professor of Chemistry, E-mail Libin.

Now: Assistant Professor, U of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Libin is an outstanding chemist with a strong desire to apply his chemical expertise to study oxidative stress in human disorders. His NIH-funded K99 grant focused on Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome and Karoly served as his mentor for molecular/cell biology. 


… and many-many more aspiring chefs dropped by on daily bases, including high school, undergraduate and graduate students, research assistants, residents, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. Our doors were always open, thank you for stopping by and enriching our lives.