PhD in Life Sciences from Dartmouth College, 2016
I received my PhD PhD in Life Sciences in 2016from Dartmouth College. I am interested in how bacteria make decisions based on extracellular signaling cues. In this vein, I study how quorum sensing, the process of cell-to-cell communication in bacteria, controls the transition between a surface-associated, biofilm growth mode and the free-swimming, planktonic lifestyle. I am particularly fascinated by how Vibrio cholerae distinguishes signals from closely related and distant bacterial species to control its decision to disperse from biofilms. To study this problem, we have established a novel, real-time microscopy-based V. cholerae biofilm growth and dispersal assay that, along with genetics and biochemistry, allows us to uncover the molecular mechanisms at play.