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Kirstie Tandberg Francis

Mote Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Marine Molecular Microbiology

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans


Dr. Francis joined Mote in 2023 as a postdoctoral research fellow in Molecular Microbiology to develop a research program in natural product drug discovery from marine microorganisms. She received her Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, where she identified a series of novel marine natural products from a deep sea soft coral, Ellisella paraplexauroides, which were active in reducing a protein target called survivin in human cancer cell lines. Prior to her current position, she completed a National Academies of Science funded Science Policy Fellowship at NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information where she worked as a data manager for the Gulf of Mexico Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities (MDBC) Restoration Project and served as a member of the NOAA ‘Omics Working Group Data and Bioinformatics Subcommittee. In her postdoc at Mote, she is working to maintain and expand the Mote Microbial Library through sampling of unique environments, generate a library of pre-fractionated extracts, screen the library for various bioactivity in her lab and through collaborations, and purify and elucidate the structure of active compounds. 


B.S., Marine Science and Microbiology Immunology, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science 
M.S., Biology, Florida Atlantic University
Ph.D., Integrative Biology, Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute