Berkeley Lab

ENIGMA researcher Michela Catena is a Fulbright Scholar this fall!

ENIGMA student Michela Catena has been selected for a Fulbright Scholarship near Kochi, Kerala, India.  While in the Mukhopadhyay Lab, Michela worked with Desulfovibrio vulgaris on ENIGMA projects to better understand two-component signaling systems in bacteria. D. vulgaris has three chemotaxis systems, and she helped to characterize the CheA3 mutant using the Palleroni chamber assay and showed that the CheA3 is the primary chemotactic system used by D. vulgaris. This work was published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology “Ray J, Keller KL, Catena M, et al. Exploring the role of CheA3 in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough motility. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2014;5:77. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00077″

This experience in Aindrila’s group introduced her to microbiology research and its wide range of topics and possibilities. She became very interested in the role that microbes play in nature, from mediating plant-soil interactions to biogeochemical cycles. She applied to the Fulbright scholarship to add a social and cultural aspect to her research experience because she hopes to enter the field of water resource management and international development. She’ll be combining her experience in microbiology with her passion for environmental remediation by conducting a microbial source tracking study to detect the source of pathogenic bacteria in waterways near Kochi, Kerala, India. She’s very excited for this new adventure and thankful for her experience working for Aindrila on ENIGMA projects.

Best of luck on this impressive project!