Kristen M Flatt

Kristen M Flatt
Kristen M Flatt
Research Scientist
(217) 300-2064
301 Seitz Materials Research Lab


  • B.S., Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2019

Academic Positions

  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2019-present
  • Pre-Doctoral Fellow – Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2019
  • Graduate Research Assistant - Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015-2019
  • Laboratory Manager – Nematology, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013-2015
  • Academic Research Assistant – Plant Pathology, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013-2014

Research Statement

My research interests include biological and soft materials sample preparation and imaging, specifically regarding electron microscopy (both scanning and transmission) and optical microscopy. My experience with scanning electron microscopy encompasses work with both conventional, 3-dimensional samples, and ultra-thin sections (Array Tomography). I also have experience in cryogenic transmission electron microscopy and sample preparation – including vitrification and thin sectioning of frozen samples. My background in optical microscopy includes work with standard stereomicroscopy, compound light and fluorescent microscopy, and confocal microscopy. My previous research used a combination of molecular genetic techniques, optical microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy to investigating the effects of environmental stressors on the neuronal anatomy of the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Since coming to the MRL, I have had the opportunity to work with various tissue types and small particles, ranging from viruses and folded proteins to synthetic nanoparticles. I enjoy challenging samples and investigating new methods beyond traditional techniques. To me, there is almost nothing better than seeing your sample up close and personal under the microscope. No matter what technique you are using, I tend to think of microscopy as both a science and an art. Using microscopy, not only are we able to gain valuable information on how the world around us functions, but we often find that the structures themselves are also quite beautiful.

Research Interests

  • Cryogenic Electron Microscopy and Sample Preparation, including Vitrification (Plunge Freezing and High-Pressure Freezing), Cryogenic Ultramicrotomy
  • Biological and Soft Material Microscopy and Sample Preparation for Transmission Electron Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Light Microscopy

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Srivastava, I., Xue, R., Jones, J., Rhee, H. Flatt, K., Gruev, V., Shuming Nie, S. (2022). Biomimetic Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Nanoparticles with Improved Dispersibility, Signal Brightness, and Tumor Targeting Functions. ACS Nano
  • Hughes, K. J., Rodriguez, A., Flatt K. M., Ray, S., Schuler, A., Rodemoyer, B., Veerappan, V., Cuciarone, K., Kullman, A., Lim, C., Gutta, N., Vemuri, S., Andriulis, V., Niswonger, D., Barickman, L., Stein, W., Singhvi, A., Schroeder, N. E., Vidal-Gadea, A. G. (2019). Physical Exertion Exacerbates Decline in the Musculature of an Animal Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116(9), 3508–3517.
  • Flatt, K. M., Beshers, C., Unal, C., Cohen, J. D., Sundaram, M. V, & Schroeder, N. E. (2019). Epidermal Remodeling in Caenorhabditis elegans Dauers Requires the Nidogen Domain Protein DEX-1. Genetics, 211(1), 169–183.
  • Cohen, J. D., Flatt, K. M., Schroeder, N. E., & Sundaram, M. V. (2019). Epithelial Shaping by Diverse Apical Extracellular Matrices Requires the Nidogen Domain Protein DEX-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics, 211(1), 185–200.
  • Androwski R. J., Flatt K. M., Schroeder N. E. (2017) Phenotypic Plasticity and Remodeling in the Stress-Induced Caenorhabditis elegans Dauer. Wiley Interdiscip. Rev. Dev. Biol. 6: e278.
  • Molohon, K. J., Blair, P. M., Park, S., Doroghazi, J. R., Maxson, T., Hershfield, J. R., Flatt, K. M., Schroeder, N. E., Mitchell, D. A. (2016). Plantazolicin is an Ultra-Narrow Spectrum