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Seminar by Dr. Somenath Bakshi on “Connecting the dynamics of microbial systems across scales”

March 13, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Title: Connecting the dynamics of microbial systems across scales


Biological reactions often involve low-copy molecular reactants, leading to stochastic outcomes. As a result, there is substantial heterogeneity among cells, even when they experience the same external conditions. Recent theoretical and experimental investigations have demonstrated that for microbial systems such heterogeneity is of important consequence to the population fitness and therefore also important for their evolution. We are establishing an experimental framework to connect the single-cell level picture of microbes to the short-term and long-term behaviours of their populations. We are using this approach to analyse the extent and role of cellular heterogeneity in determining the population dynamics of microbial systems in the context of – 1. Emergence of antibiotic persistence 2. Fitness costs of plasmids carrying antibiotic resistance genes and 3. The arms race between bacteria and bacteriophages.  In this talk I will describe the background and motivation for this approach, the key challenges, the necessary technical advancements, and illustrate its potential with selected key findings

About the Speaker:

Somenath Bakshi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He did his PhD in University of Wisconsin Madison under Professor James Weisshaar – developing super-resolution imaging technologies to study central cellular processes in microbes. After finishing his PhD, he moved to Harvard University for his postdoc with Professor Johan Paulsson in the Department of Systems Biology. During his postdoc Somenath developed high-throughput timelapse imaging technologies to study stress-response in bacteria. In 2019, he moved to Cambridge, and established the Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Microbiology. His work focuses on the analysis of the genetic and metabolic factors underlying the emergence of antibiotic resistance, and engineering diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to combat the spread of antibiotic resistance. He is also the head of the recently established Smart Microscopy Laboratory, which is a cross-school platform for bringing together engineers, computer scientists, and biologists to develop targeted imaging solutions for specific biological problems.

Platform: MS Teams (Online)

link for the Seminar: https://tinyurl.com/3vcsm2jt


March 13, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: