Bonnie L. Bassler, Professor and Chair of Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Investigator and Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology, Princeton University
Harmful bacteria have the capacity to kill humans, animals, and plants, while beneficial bacteria play a vital role in keeping them alive. How do these small organisms accomplish such big tasks? Working in groups, bacteria are able to communicate using a cell-to-cell chemical communication process called “quorum sensing,” enabling them to synchronize behavior on a population-wide scale. Bassler will discuss how quorum sensing works and describe the cutting-edge medical therapies being developed to combat bacterial diseases by interfering with this communication process.
Presented in collaboration with the Departments of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University