Dr. Ece Karatan, an associate professor in the Department of Biology, was awarded her second NIH grant ($395,720) to investigate how Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, forms biofilms. Biofilms are communities of bacteria usually attached to surfaces and encased in a self-produced extracellular matrix. Biofilms are advantageous for bacteria because bacteria in the biofilm are protected from harsh conditions in their environment including presence of antimicrobials and host defenses. V. cholerae biofilm formation has been implicated in cholera disease progression; therefore, studying this process could yield insights into preventing cholera. You can read more about her research and her award here.