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Julie Theriot is interested in how interactions at the molecular level affect life at the cellular level. Theriot and her team investigate basic biological processes such as cell motility, cytoskeletal self-assembly, and pathogen invasion mechanisms, using an approach that bridges cell biology, microbiology, and biophysics. Working in cell types ranging from bacteria to fish skin cells, they study the spatial and temporal arrangement of macromolecules, the coordination of their functions, and the choreography of their movements. Their aim is to develop a broad conceptual understanding of the organizational rules that give rise to large-scale cell structure and coordinated movement.