In our lab, we study the complex interactions between microorganisms and their environment. Using tools of microfluidics, quantitative video microscopy and image analysis we investigate the transport of microorganisms: from natural and complex environments, like viscoelastic and anisotropic body fluids; to the effect of the topology of the confining structures, like medical catheters or porous media; to untapping the potential of new “active” systems propelled by swimming microorganisms. Our multidisciplinary lab aims at preventing microorganism-borne medical conditions, developing novel live materials, and utilizing microorganisms for cleaning the environment.
- 2017 – PhD, Sorbonne University, France - Physics
- 2013 – MS, University of Havana, Cuba - Physics
- 2010 – BS, University of Havana, Cuba - Physics
Awards and Honors
- 2023 Boettcher Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Award for Early Career Investigators. Colorado, USA
- 2014 Best Poster Prize at the “565th WE-Heraeus-Seminar on Statistical Physics of Self-Propelled Particles: Theory and Experiments.” Bad Honnef, Germany.
- 2013 Full PhD scholarship from the “Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Foundation for Research,” Paris, France.
- 2010 Summa Cum Laude, awarded for the academic record 5.15 out of 5. Selected “Best Student Researcher” of the Physics Department 2010 promotion. University of Havana, Cuba.
- 2005 Gold Medal at the X Iberoamerican Physics Olympiad. Competition held in Uruguay, 2005 (22 Countries). Gold Medal at the National Physics Olympiad, Cuba.
- N. Figueroa-Morales, R. Soto, G. Junot, T. Darnige, C. Douarche, V. Martinez, A. Lindner, and E. Clément, “3D spatial exploration by E. coli echoes motor temporal variability,” Phys. Rev. X, vol 10, no. 2, p. 021004, 2020.
- N. Figueroa-Morales, A. Rivera, R. Soto, A. Lindner, E. Altshuler, and E. Clément, “E. coli "super-contaminates" narrow ducts fostered by broad run-time distribution,” Science Advances, vol. 6, no. 11, eaay0155, 2020.
- N. Figueroa-Morales, L. Dominguez-Rubio, T. L. Ott, and I. S. Aranson, “Mechanical shear controls bacterial penetration in mucus,” Scientific reports, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 9713, 2019.
- A. J. Mathijssen, N. Figueroa-Morales, G. Junot, É. Clément, A. Lindner, and A. Zöttl, “Oscillatory surface rheotaxis of swimming E. coli bacteria,” Nature communications, vol. 10, no. 1, p. 3434, 2019.
- N. Figueroa-Morales, G. L. Mino, A. Rivera, R. Caballero, E. Clément, E. Altshuler, and A. Lindner, “Living on the edge: transfer and traffic of E. coli in a confined flow,” Soft matter, vol. 11, no. 31, pp. 6284–6293, 2015.