Christine Suetterlin, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Developmental and Cell Biology. Her research focuses on the centrosome, a small organelle in mammalian cells that is dysregulated in most human cancers. Professor Suetterlin also examines how the wide-spread human pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis affects human health by altering the organization and function of the centrosome and of cilia, which are centrosome-derived structures. Professor Suetterlin has been fascinated by this and other interactions between Chlamydia trachomatis and its host cell because they can teach a cell biologist like Professor Suetterlin about normal cell physiology.
Professor Suetterlin has been interested in uncovering mechanisms that govern the formation and dynamics of organelles since her time as a graduate student. Professor Suetterlin attended the University of Basel, Switzerland, where she investigated how proteins are transported within a cell. After completing her doctoral thesis, she pursued her interest in cell and organelle biology as a postdoctoral researcher at UC San Diego, where she investigated the dynamics of the Golgi apparatus during cell division in mammalian cells. Her studies revealed that the Golgi has to undergo extensive fragmentation in order to allow a cell to divide.
In addition to her research, Professor Suetterlin devotes a substantial amount of time to university service. She teaches cell biology to undergraduate and graduate students annually and serves as the graduate advisor for her department. Professor Suetterlin is also committed to volunteer work for off campus organizations. For example, she has worked closely with the American Cancer Society to promote cancer research and awareness.
Lastly, Professor Suetterlin is the proud mother of two wonderful boys. In her free time, she loves the beach and enjoys traveling with her husband and children to visit their extended family abroad. When she isn’t traveling, she enjoys keeping in shape, and can be found playing basketball, tennis, running, or exercising at the gym. After working up an appetite, she enjoys cooking a healthy meal and maybe baking a tasty treat.