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Caitlin Howell’s research expertise is in the understanding and control of biological systems at interfaces, with a focus on microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Since 2016 she and her team have worked on drawing inspiration from nature and working across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and materials science to address major issues in human health. Inspired by how the human body controls its large, diverse bacterial cohorts, her work has led to discoveries in methods to resist infection in medical devices without the need for antibiotics. Dr. Howell and her team also focus on developing new ways to use biodegradable and renewable materials such as cellulose in biomedical applications. She received her BS and MS degrees in biology from the University of Maine and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.