Kayla Simanek, M.S.

Kayla Simanek, M.S.


State University of New York at Albany

Kayla Simanek, M.S., is graduate student in the biomedical sciences department at the State University of New York at Albany. They completed their B.S. and M.S. degrees at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. They also completed a fellowship at the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond, Virginia through the Association of Public Health Laboratories and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Antimicrobial Resistance Fellowship program, where they performed whole genome sequencing of gram-negative patient isolates.

Simanek is currently earning their doctoral degree under the mentorship of Jon Paczkowski at the Wadsworth Center. Their dissertation research focuses on quorum sensing in clinical strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Simanek’s general research interests include, microbial evolution and adaptation, virulence and pathogenesis of antibiotic resistant and hospital endemic pathogens. 

Simanek has a long-standing interest in outreach and advocacy, which began with the opportunity to teach high-school students over the summer during their master’s degree. Simanek is a member of the Nourishing Opportunities for Women (STEM NOW) graduate student organization, which was founded by Monica Ventura at SUNY Albany to provide professional development and networking opportunities to graduate students, as well as advocate for gender equality in STEM. Simanek is passionate about helping trainees from historically excluded groups gain access to opportunities and dismantling institutionalized biases. Their work focuses on advocating for LGBTQIA+ scientists and addressing intersectionality of marginalized groups.