Kathryn (Kat) Milligan-Myhre, Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, hails from Kotzebue Alaska. Via a circuitous route, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kat’s background in pathogenic microbiology includes examination of the regulation of toxin production in the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, and identification and characterization of genes necessary for the parasite Toxoplasma gondii to chronically infect mouse brains. As a University of Oregon Postdoc, Kat received training in host-microbe interactions, systems biology, and evolution under the superb mentorship of Drs. Karen Guillemin and William Cresko. Kat now studies how the host genetic background influences the immune response to microbes and microbiota community membership, and how microbes shape host evolution.