Primary mentor is Professor Vijay Balasubramanian.
She did postdocs at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the Institut Pasteur in Paris, and the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is currently an editor at the Physical Review and a long-term visitor in the Physics of Living Matter group at Penn. She has always been fascinated by the ability of living systems to adapt to changing environments. Her research is presently focused on understanding the principles shaping the survival strategies of bacterial behavior and, more generally, of unicellular organisms. She has developed theoretical models that describe how bacteria modulate their size according to nutrient availability, and, more recently, how microbes can acquire adaptive immunity against phage infection.
Serena holds a PhD in Statistical Physics awarded from SISSA, the International School for Advanced Studies (2010).