About Me

Hey! My name is Melissa Baez and I’m a recent Molecular Biology grad from San Diego State University, currently working for the Salk Institute in Dr. Wolfgang Busch’s Plant Cell and Molecular Biology lab. My interests include: CRISPR, microbiology, marine microbes, molecular cloning, phage therapy, and the human microbiota.


  • Research Assistant at the Salk Institute

    At Salk, I work in Dr. Wolfgang Busch’s Plant Cell and Molecular Biology laboratory. I am currently assisting with a seedling transplant experiment to determine the effects of genetic mutations on root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana planted seedlings. In addition, I perform DNA and RNA extractions of plant material, assist with molecular cloning, as well as PCR and gel electrophoresis of the finished PCR products.

  • Intern at Cibus US LLC

    At Cibus, I worked in their Cell Biology department, where I learned how to use CRISPR for molecular cloning. In addition, I regularly performed in vitro plant cell/tissue culturing, seed germination, and soil transfer of plants.


Alker A., et al., 2022. Draft Genome Sequence of Nereida sp. Strain MMG025, Isolated from Giant Kelp. Microbiology Resource Announcements. https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/mra.00122-22
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Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology Laboratory II (Fall 2021): In this course, marine bacteria was isolated and identified in order to create a publication for the American Society for Microbiology. The draft genome sequences of novel marine bacterial isolates were reported in the publication. First, a sample of marine bacteria was collected from a kelp surface at the La Jolla Tide Pools, and the bacteria was isolated. Then, PCR, Sanger sequencing, and gel electrophoresis were performed for the isolate in order to identify the bacteria. The NCBI BLAST website and the PATRIC website were used to help identify the bacteria, as well as determine its genomic similarities to other closely-related bacterial species. Finally, a manuscript was drafted in order to organize the findings from this laboratory class. I was responsible for performing every part of this collaborative effort to create a publication for the American Society for Microbiology.

Lab Skills

Molecular Biology

CRISPR for Molecular Cloning 
DNA Extraction
RNA Extraction
cDNA Synthesis


Aseptic technique
Streak Plating
Gram Staining

General Biology

Plant Cell Culturing
Bacterial Transformation
Gel Electrophoresis


salk salk
Gel Electrophoresis Sample Collected
Streak Plate Streak Plate
Sample Collection SDSU