Dr. Kristin Patrick

Ph.D. Yale University, Microbiology, Drs. Christian Tschudi and Elisabetta Ullu

Postdoc: University of California, San Francisco, Drs. Christine Guthrie and Nevan Krogan

“When immune cells sense microbial components they undergo a massive reprogramming of gene expression so that they can synthesize molecules that will help destroy pathogens and alert other cells to the presence of a threat. We know a lot about how these innate immune transcripts are made but very little about how these transcripts are processed after they are synthesized. My research program is built upon the premise that the processing events that innate immune transcripts undergo once they are made are important for shaping the innate immune transcriptome and driving infection outcomes.”

Research Specialties

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics

Bioinformatics and Genomics

Medical Genetics – Human and Animal

How long have you been a faculty member at Texas A&M?

Since January 2015, although I was just recently promoted to Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in June 2018.

What made you choose to join the A&M faculty?  

At the end of our postdocs my husband, Robbie Watson (also an Assistant Professor in Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology) and I decided we wanted to run a joint lab where we could combine our interests in bacterial pathogenesis and regulation of host gene expression. Texas A&M was a place where we could pursue Robbie’s research plan, which focuses on the biosafety level 3 pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, while also developing new projects that leverage my expertise and investigate RNA biology.

What makes A&M stand out above other institutions? What is the best part about being part of the Genetics program?

Starting a lab as a new investigator can be difficult. It was clear from the moment we arrived here that A&M was a place where we were going to get the support we needed to succeed. Our colleagues are not our competitors—they are our biggest cheerleaders. The Genetics program is a model for how to integrate students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and departments—something a university like A&M, with its many disparate campuses, needs more of.

How have your experiences in the Genetics graduate program shaped your thinking?

Today, almost all of biology research is “Genetics” in one way or another. It’s been fun thinking about my research in that context and figuring out the best ways to describe what we do to students broadly interested in Genetics.

Fun Facts:

When I am not in the lab, I am… 

Watching my two boys (ages 3 and 6) skateboard and searching for the best Dim Sum in Houston.

My favorite restaurant in College Station is… 

Can’t go wrong with a good steak and a cocktail at The Republic.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

River Otters seem like they have a nice life.

Who’s your favorite superhero?

Ant-Man but mostly because I have a crush on Paul Rudd.

Fuego or Torchy’s?

Fuego’s tacos are really big and messy. I’ll go Torchy’s. Although my actual fav BCS tacos are the breakfast tacos at Jesse’s in Bryan.