Multidrug antibiotic persistence, which allows some cells that lack genetic resistance to survive antibiotic stresses by becoming dormant, is a major public health concern. This exploratory project will use data from state-of-the-art image cytometry and single-cell analysis in combination with mechanistic mathematical modeling to study the formaldehyde-sensing network that was recently discovered in Methylobacterium by the Marx Lab. The formaldehyde-sensing network in Methylobacterium shares many characteristics with antibiotic persistence, but has the advantage of allowing us to externally manipulate factors governing the transition from growth to stasis, and all the cells in a population go dormant. The research team wishes to develop mathematical models in combination with relevant experimentation 1) to study the ability the biochemical network to allow for distinct cell fate outcomes as a function of key parameters such as protein levels of EfgA 2) to analyze how stochasticity in the form of spontaneous fluctuations in protein levels, which can lead to a potentially toxic pulse of formaldehyde, influences cell transitions between phenotypes such as growth, death, or persistence. This pilot grant will position the researchers to explore fundamental processes associated with antimicrobial resistance, which if eventually manipulated could prevent disease and promote health.
Incorporating Bacteriophage into an Experimentally-Tractable Animal Model SystemJuly 30, 2021
Project Team: James T. Van Leuven, Emma Altman The microbial communities colonizing animal guts are highly influential to host health and development. Animal hosts are impacted by the species of microbes present and temporal changes in their abundances, but the forces governing these dynamics are poorly understood. Bacteriophages modulate bacterial community composition through predation. They […]
Pilot Grant Slides Available for DownloadOctober 23, 2020
For future reference or if you weren’t able to attend the Brown Bag Lunch yesterday, here are the slides presented by IMCI Director Holly Wichman regarding our Pilot Grant program. Please remember, you are welcome to reach out to the leadership team directly and at any time if you have questions about whether your research […]
Insights into Human Anamalous Visual Functions Using Molecular ModelingSeptember 1, 2019
Project Team: Jagdish Patel, Deborah Stenkamp, Dharmesh Patel, Jonathan Barnes Note: This pilot grant evolved out of the research produced by the working group, Evolution of Tandemly-Replicated Opsin Genes: Molecular Models that Predict Spectral Shifts. Vision is one of the most sophisticated biochemical system in humans and serves as a primary environmental input. In other organisms, […]