Julie Theriot grew up in Illinois and attended college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1988 with degrees in Physics and Biology. She pursued graduate training at the University of California at San Francisco with Dr. Timothy Mitchison, earning her Ph.D. in Cell Biology in 1993. After four years as a Whitehead Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she moved to the Stanford University School of Medicine where she is currently a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry.
Theriot's research focuses on cell organization and motility, and on host-pathogen interactions in bacterial infections. She has won numerous awards including teaching awards from both Ph.D. and M.D. students. Theriot has also been awarded fellowships from both the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.