Kaitlyn Kukula
Fort Lewis College
Undergraduate Student
Engineering Major, Biology Minor
Undergraduate Researcher in the Li Lab

Welcome! I am currently an undergraduate student at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, with aspirations to pursue an MD/PhD career. I am passionate about the little things in life (namely bacteria!) and interested in creating sustainable and creative solutions to problems in the medical and bioengineering fields.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Overview

Summer 2022
WHO priority pathogen monitoring in surface water by means of ddPCR
Developing a rapid ddPCR system cabale of accurately identifying and quantifying selected WHO priority pathogens in surface waters in the Durango, CO watershed. Team lead.

Identification of enteric bacterial pathogens in wastewater using Raman spectroscopy
Worked with a team to develop a novel ddPCR system.
Using Raman spectroscopy to identify enteric pathogens (selected from CDC watch list). Team lead.

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022
Development of ddPCR system (Senior Capstone Project)
Worked with a team to develop a novel ddPCR system.

Implementation of EPA Method 1696
Learned, implemented, and taught EPA Method 1696 for use in FLC labs.

Summer 2021

Collecting wild-tpe bacteria and developing sample preparation methods for Raman spectroscopy
Collecting and identifying selected bacteria from the environment for use in Raman spectroscopy.

Fall 2022 - Spring 2021

Bacteria concentration methods for ddPCR
Tasked with determining and implementing methods to concentrate bacteria in water from 100mL to <1mL.

Summer 2020

Bacteria identification using Raman spectroscopy and deep learning
Creaction of a convolutional neural network to classify Raman signals. Culminated in an IEEE CCWC paper and presentation.

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Articles and Presentations