Carla Y. Bonilla, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

I was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the US when I was 13 years old, went to school in San Francisco, CA and worked at MIT. Now I teach at Gonzaga University in Spokane WA. It is my passion to promote access, equity and multicultural diversity...

Professor Carla Bonilla outdoors

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Postdoctoral Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2008-2012
Ph. D. Cell Biology, University of California, San Francisco, 2008
M. A. Biology, San Francisco State University, 2002
B. A. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

Courses Taught

BIOL 105 - Information Flow in Biological Systems
BIOL 105L - Phage Discovery Laboratory
BIOL 202 - Genetics and Evolution Lecture and Laboratory 
BIOL 207 - Genetics Lecture
BIOL 351 - Advanced Cell Biology Lecture
BIOL 399 - Advanced Topics in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Microbiomes 
BIOL 456 - Molecular Biology Lecture and Laboratory
BIOL 499 - Senior Colloquium

I was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the US when I was 13 years old, went to school in San Francisco, CA and worked at MIT. Now I teach at Gonzaga University in Spokane WA. It is my passion to promote access, equity and multicultural diversity in the biological sciences and I use bacteria to teach students the beauty of molecular biology.

Tran V, Geraci K, Midili G, Satterwhite W, Wright R and Bonilla CY. Resilience to oxidative stress is mediated through the stressosome and RsbP in Bacillus subtilis. Manuscript in preparation. 

Bonilla CY and Grossman AD. The primosomal protein DnaD inhibits cooperative DNA binding by the replication initiator DnaA in Bacillus subtilis (2012) Journal of Bacteriology 194(18) 5110-7 .

Smits WK, Merrikh H, Bonilla CY and Grossman AD. Primosomal proteins DnaD and DnaB are recruited to chromosomal regions bound by DnaA in Bacillus subtilis (2011) Journal of Bacteriology 193(3):640-8.

Bonilla CY, Melo J. A., and Toczyski, D. P. Co-localization of sensors is sufficient to activate the DNA damage checkpoint in the absence of damage. (2008) Molecular Cell 30, 267-276.

Vidanes G., Bonilla CY, Toczyski D. P. Complicated Tails: Chromatin remodeling and the DNA damage response (2005) Cell 121, 973-976.

Cao M, Salzberg L, Tsai CS, Mascher T, Bonilla C, Wang T, Ye RW, Marquez-Magana L, Helmann JD. Regulation of the Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function protein sigma (Y) and its target promoters. (2003) Journal of Bacteriology 185, 4883-4890.

 

Grants

M. J. Murdock College Research Program for the Natural Sciences Grant, 2015-1017. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Oxidative Stress Response in Bacillus subtilis, $59,859. Principal Investigator.

W. M. Keck Foundation Grant 2014-2016. Biochemistry-Molecular Biology Linked Experimental System. $247,503. Co-Principal Investigator.
 
Stress is a fact of life for bacteria in a dynamic environment. Bacteria, pathogenic and nonpathogenic, must monitor their surroundings in order to respond to the constant changes they face. Their ability to adapt demonstrates their resilience. Our research focuses on the regulation of SigB, the general stress response sigma factor, and its role in the resilience to oxidative stress. B. subtilis uses the stressosome, a multiprotein complex, to sense its environment and RsbP to sense nutritional stress.  We are interested in teasing out the role of these SigB regulatory proteins during oxidative stress, the molecular interactions that control their activities, and the genetic networks responsible for the physiological response during oxidative stress. We approach these questions using a combination of genetics, molecular and microbiology techniques. Our findings will elucidate the genetic and molecular determinants of bacterial resilience.