Katrina T. Forest

Dr. Forest is a bacteriologist whose research involves the study of life through the examination of interactions; co-operations of species within ecosystems, adaptation of living organisms to environment stimuli, and partnerships of atoms within the active sites of enzymes. Her lab studies biological interactions at the molecular level, with particular interest in the structures, functions, and mechanisms of bacterial proteins.

Forest believes science cannot categorized separately from other creative pursuits any more than work and life can be compartmentalize in the troubled construct of work-life balance. Thus, Forest develops collaborations and friendships with artists, and encourages visual art and creative writing in her lab, classroom, and outreach spheres.

Artists-in-residence in the Forest Lab have explored the use of diffraction data and structural biology images as components of their artwork, and equally importantly have been embedded members of the laboratory to facilitate exchange of ideas among traditional scientists and artists. Integral parts of Forest’s current NSF grant are the Knot Salon and the forthcoming Knots in Nature project, envisioned to provide a forum for creative exchange among practitioners of art, music, math, chemistry, and biology and for sharing the associated intellectual output in a tangible way with the general public. Forest earned her PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University (1993). She is Professor of Bacteriology and Biophysics at University of Wisconsin, Madison.