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Andrea Suria, Ph.D.

Marine Sciences


University of Connecticut – Molecular and Cell Biology


Alecia Septer, Ph.D.


I received a BS in Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2012 and a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology with a concentration in Microbiology from the University of Connecticut in 2019. I completed my doctoral research in the lab of Dr. Spencer Nyholm, using the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, as a model to study beneficial host-microbe interactions. I used a combination of DNA/RNA sequencing and competition assays to investigate how bacterial symbionts of squid eggs can produce defensive molecules that protect the eggs from infections during development. During my PhD, I developed a passion for teaching and mentoring. I worked closely with the UConn McNair Scholars program, helping teach a course to prepare undergrads for conducting research and mentoring many students one-on-one in the lab. I also taught several molecular technique workshops through the Professional Science Master’s program at UConn and received a Certificate in College Instruction in 2018. As a SPIRE post-doctoral scholar, I will be working in the lab of Dr. Alecia Septer studying how interbacterial interactions during host colonization can shape microbiome community structures. Specifically, I will be examining how bacteria compete with each other using a molecular syringe, called the type 6 secretion system, to colonize the Hawaiian bobtail squid.


Fall 2021 Microbe Hunters – North Carolina Central University Spring 2021 Molecular Biology of the Cell – North Carolina Central University


Suria AM– Smith S- Speare L- Chen Y- Chien I- Clark EG- Krueger M- Warwick AM- Wilkins H- Septer AN. Prevalence and diversity of type VI secretion systems in a model beneficial symbiosis. Frontiers in microbiology. 2022;13:988044. PMCID: PMC9515649.