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Biological Sciences

Cawa Tran

Assistant Professor

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Education

  • Postdoctoral scholar, Department of Genetics, Stanford University, 2017
  • Ph.D., Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2012
  • B.A., Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2004

Teaching

  • Principles of Physiology and Development lecture and labs (BIOL 153)
  • Special Problems (BIOL 399)
  • Cell Biology lab (BIOL 411)
  • Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology (BIOL 609)
  • Independent Study (BIOL 697)
  • Master's Thesis (BIOL 699)

Research Interests

The Tran Lab, part of the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University, Chico, is interested in the molecular & cellular mechanisms mediating symbiosis between cnidarians, dinoflagellates, and bacteria. We use an integrative approach that includes aspects of physiology, microbial ecology, molecular and cell biology to investigate host-microbe interactions in the sea anemone Exaiptasia pallida(commonly referred to as 'Aiptasia'), a laboratory model for understanding coral symbiosis and bleaching.

Research Summary

  • Which bacterial species can establish a long-term symbiosis with the sea anemone Aiptasia and impact host physiology?
  • How do bacterial and algal symbionts interact within the animal host?
  • What cellular and molecular mechanisms mediate symbioses with bacteria and algae?

Lab Photos

vibrant green photo from lab

Publications:

Van Treuren W, Brower K, Hunt DR, Labanieh L, Lensch S, Cruz B, Cartwright H, Tran C*, Fordyce PM* (2019) Live imaging of Aiptasia larvae, a model system for studying coral and anemone bleaching, using a simple microfluidic device. Scientific Reports 9:9275. (*co-corresponding authors)

Xiang T, Jinkerson RE, Clowez S, Tran C, Krediet CJ, Onishi M, Cleves PA, Pringle JR, Grossman AR (2017) Glucose-induced trophic shift in Symbiodinium and its physiological and molecular consequences. Plant Physiology. pp-01572.

Tran C and Hadfield MG (2013) Localization of sensory mechanisms utilized by coral planulae to detect settlement cues. Invertebrate Biology 132:195-206.

Tran C and Hadfield MG (2012) Are G-protein coupled receptors involved in mediating larval settlement and metamorphosis of coral planulae? Biological Bulletin 222:128-136.

Tran C and Hadfield MG (2011) Larvae of Pocillopora damicornis (Anthozoa) settle and metamorphose in response to surface-biofilm bacteria.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 433:85-96.

Zardus JD, Nedved BT, Huang Y, Tran C, Hadfield MG (2008) Microbial biofilms facilitate adhesion in biofouling invertebrates. Biological Bulletin 214:91-98.

Weblinks:

https://www.aiptasia-resource.org/

https://www.csuchico.edu/cwe/faculty-associates/tran-cawa.shtml