Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2011
Home Departments: Biophysics
Faculty Advisors: KC Huang (Bioengineering) and Daniel Fisher (Applied Physics)

Research Title: On Growth and Form - a bacterial perspective

Research Description: Shape matters at all scales, including the cellular one, and the cell-wall determines the bacterial boundaries and shape. Carolina is interested in understanding how the cell-wall is formed from molecular components thousands of times smaller: sugars and amino acids. Just like with a LEGO structure, the simple pieces combine to form complicated and diverse structures; it is how they are assembled that ultimately determines cell shape. Using genetic and biophysical approaches, Carolina modifies cell-wall building blocks and forces; then with microscopy, she observes how bacterial shape changes. The merging of this data with a computational model of cell growth is shedding light on the fundamental question of cellular shape determination.


Carolina is an assistant professor in the school of biomedical engineering and the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of British Columbia.