Top of Page Skip to main content

Julie Torruellas Garcia, Ph.D.

Julie Torruellas Garcia
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biological Sciences
(954) 262-8195


  • Ph.D. (Microbiology and Immunology) - University of Miami
  • B.S. (Biology) - University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Julie Torruellas Garcia, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography at Nova Southeastern University. She earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Miami and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute. She teaches a variety of courses including Microbiology/Lab, Microbial Pathogenesis, Immunology, Genetics, and Cellular and Molecular Biology. Research in the Garcia Lab is conducted exclusively by NSU undergraduate students and focuses on developing techniques to detect novel antibiotics that inhibit bacterial type III secretion systems, examining the efficacy of electrostatic sprayers for the delivery of disinfectants and identifying bacteria from everyday items for the news. Her research has been featured on “How dirty is it?” on CBS4 News and on “Amenaza Escondida” (“Hidden Threats”) on Al Rojo Vivo, which airs on Telemundo across the U.S. and Latin America.

Research Focus

  • Microbial pathogenesis and bacterial type III secretion systems
  • Efficacy of electrostatic sprayers for the delivery of disinfectants
  • Identification of environmental bacteria

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 1500 - Biology I/Lab
  • BIOL 2400 - Applied Micrbiology (online)
  • BIOL 3400 - Microbiology/Lab
  • BIOL 3600 - Genetics/Lab
  • BIOL 4300 - Microbial Pathogenesis
  • BIOL 4340 - Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 4360 - Immunology
  • BIOL 4950 - Internship
  • BIOL 4990 - Independent Study

The search for new antibiotics that target bacterial type III secretion systems - Developed a novel assay to detect compounds that inhibit bacterial type III secretion systems (T3SS). T3SSs are like syringes that some bacteria use to inject host cells with toxins in order to evade the immune response. Blocking the T3SS prevents bacteria from causing infection. This assay will be used to search for T3SS inhibitors produced by soil bacteria. Funded by PFRDG.

Efficacy of electrostatic sprayers for the delivery of disinfectants - Examining the ability of electrostatic sprayers to deliver disinfectants to areas not in direct contact with the spray. This project is a collaboration with ByoPlanet and Clorox. Funded by ByoPlanet and the Clorox Corporation.

Identification of bacteria on everyday items for the news - Identified bacteria on items in various locations such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc. Appeared in 21 news segments which aired on Univision, CBS, and Telemundo across the U.S. and in Latin America. Currently funded by Telemundo.

Brimmer, A., Torruellas Garcia, J., Kapela, J., McEnnis, M/ M.S., Gregory Sidberry, M.S. (2013) Mentoring for change in a unique university - alternative high school collaboration, Proceedings of the UNM Mentoring Institute2013 Conference.

Torruellas Garcia, J. (2010) "Voges-Proskauer test on Enterobacter aerogenes and on Kocuria rhizophila" American Society for Microbiology Microbe Library (

Lindner, I., Torruellas-Garcia, J., Plano, G.V., Kolonias, D., Carlson, L.M., and Lee, K.P. (2007). Modulation of dendritic cell differentiation and function by YopJ of Yersinia pestis. Eur J Immunol. 37(9):2450-62.

Lindner, I., Cejas, P.J., Carlson, L.M., Torruellas, J, Plano, G.V,, Lee, K.P. (2007). Signal transduction in DC differentiation: winged messengers and Achilles' heel. Adv Exp Med Biol. 590:1-29.

Torruellas Garcia, J., Ferracci, F., Jackson, M.W., Joseph, S.S., Pattis, I., Plano, L.R.W., Fischer, W., and Plano, G.V. (2006) Measurement of effector protein injection by type III and type IV secretion systems using a 13-residue phosphorylatable glycogen synthase kinase tag. Infect Immun 74(10):5645-57.

Torruellas, J., Jackson, M.W., Pennock, J.W., and Plano, G.V. (2005) The Yersinia pestis type III secretion needle plays a direct role in the regulation of Yop secretion. Mol Microbiol 57:1719-1733.

Expert Microbiologist Guest/Researcher, "Amenaza Escondida", Al Rojo Vivo, Telemundo, episodes aired on November 4, 6, 13, 20, 2014, May 6, 13, 20, 27, 2015 and November 4, 11, 18, 25, 2015.

Expert Microbiologist Guest, "Descubren bacterias peligrosas en el metro de Nueva York", Al Rojo Vivo, Telemundo, aired on February 6, 2015.

Expert Microbiologist Guest/Researcher, "Protect Yourself At The Pump With The U-Glove", CBS4 Miami News, CBS, aired on December 16, 2014.

Expert Microbiologist Guest/Researcher, "How Dirty Is It?", CBS4 Miami News, CBS, 5 episodes aired on November 20, 2013, February 24, 2014, May 1, 13 and 21, 2014.

Expert Microbiologist Guest/Researcher, "La Bacteria en Tu Casa", Dr. Chago Show, Telemundo, aired March 23, 2013.

Expert Microbiologist Guest/Researcher, "Identificacion de Bacteria en Hoteles", Aqui y Ahora, Univision, aired on November 9, 2010.

Return to top of page