Featuring Carolina Mantilla 2017-10-10T10:42:38+00:00

Carolina Mantilla

David Threadgill Lab

Entrance year: 2014

Hometown: Cúcuta, Colombia


“My research project focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying epidermal growth factor receptor-independent colorectal cancer (CRC) progression. This project will identify molecular biomarkers and essential pathways used by EGFR-independent CRC, and investigate whether EGFR-independent CRC are more aggressive than EGFR-dependent ones. This study will advance our understanding of ERBB family biology during colonic tumorigenesis, ultimately contributing to better therapies for CRC.”



Research Specialties

Medical Genetics – Animal, mouse models

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics


Why did you choose the Genetics PhD program at A&M?

By the time I was looking into grad school, I found out that the Texas A&M campus had been rated the “happiest campus” in the nation. That particular fact urged me to look into the different programs at TAMU and I quickly found the Genetics program. The idea of an interdisciplinary program intrigued my interest and when I looked into the program and read about the variety of professors focusing on different areas of research, I knew this was the place I wanted to be.


How did the first year of the program help you prepare for your independent research project?  

During my first year as a PhD student, I rotated in several laboratories and enjoyed the diverse research experiences. However, during my rotation with Dr. David Threadgill, my childhood goal of becoming a cancer research scientist was affirmed. My project will have a direct impact in improving molecular targeted therapies for colorectal cancer. I also have the opportunity to collaborate with one of my rotation advisors, Dr. David Riley, on a project unrelated to cancer biology, that involves a genome-wide association study. This project deepened my general understanding of genetics, as well as provide an additional valuable research experience that will help me achieve my long-term research goals.


What is at least one big lesson you have learned in the Genetics graduate program that you think is widely applicable to your future pursuits?  

“Know your reagent” and be confident in any endeavor you are pursuing.


Fun Facts:

  • Fuego or Torchy’s? None, they don’t have free chips :(. However, Hungry Howie’s or Layne’s Chicken, now we’re talking!