Bonilla Home Page


Carla Y Bonilla, Ph.D.
Biology Department
Gonzaga University
502 East Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258

Phone:  (509) 313-5594
Fax:   (509) 313-5804

Office Hours - Fall 2014
Monday:  11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wednesday:  11:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Courses Taught
Biology 105- Information Flow in Biological Systems
Biology 105Lab- Phage Discovery Lab
Biology 202 and 207- Genetics Lecture and Lab
Biology 456- Molecular Biology Lecture and Lab
Biology 399- Bacterial Group Behaviors

I am fascinated by the ability of bacteria to survive in all types of environments. My research focuses on studying the response to environmental changes of the soil bacterium, Bacillus subtilis; that allow it to survive stressful conditions. B. subtilis is the model Gram positive organism because of its ease of genetic manipulation, sequenced genome and conservation with other pathogenic bacterial species. Bacteria, pathogenic and nonpathogenic, live in complex environments and must monitor their surroundings for nutrients, noxious chemicals, predators, etc. They accomplish this by using proteins that sense the environment (sensor proteins) and proteins that enact changes in gene expression (transcription factors) that alter the physiology of the cell to accommodate the changing conditions. I am interested in understanding the proteins involved in this bacterium’s stress responses at a molecular level using a combination of genetics, cell biology, molecular and microbiology techniques.


Postdoctoral Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2008-2012
Ph. D. Cell Biology, University of California, San Francisco, 2008
M. A. Biology, San Francisco State University, 2002
B. A. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

Bonilla CY and Grossman AD. The primosomal protein DnaD inhibits cooperative DNA binding by the replication initiator DnaA in Bacillus subtilis (2012) Journal of Bacteriology 194(18) 5110-7 .

Smits WK, Merrikh H, Bonilla CY and Grossman AD. Primosomal proteins DnaD and DnaB are recruited to chromosomal regions bound by DnaA in Bacillus subtilis (2011) Journal of Bacteriology 193(3):640-8.

Bonilla CY, Melo J. A., and Toczyski, D. P. Co-localization of sensors is sufficient to activate the DNA damage checkpoint in the absence of damage. (2008) Molecular Cell 30, 267-276.

Vidanes G., Bonilla CY, Toczyski D. P. Complicated Tails: Chromatin remodeling and the DNA damage response (2005) Cell 121, 973-976.

Cao M, Salzberg L, Tsai CS, Mascher T, Bonilla C, Wang T, Ye RW, Marquez-Magana L, Helmann JD. Regulation of the Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function protein sigma (Y) and its target promoters. (2003) Journal of Bacteriology 185, 4883-4890.