[Simbiosnews] Webinar: The Response of Bacterial Growth to Osmotic Shock - Experimental and Computational Studies

Joy P. Ku joyku at stanford.edu
Wed Sep 18 11:34:40 PDT 2013

Simbios is pleased to invite you to our webinar:


For Whom the Cell Tolls:  The Response of Bacterial Growth to Osmotic
Shock - Experimental and Computational Studies


When:  Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 11am PDT

Registration:  https://simtk.webex.com/simtk/onstage/g.php?t=a
<https://simtk.webex.com/simtk/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=667440715> &d=667440715




The cell wall is a universal feature of bacteria that determines their
shape, their effect on the human immune system, and their susceptibility
to many of our front-line antibiotics.  Understanding  the fundamental
biomechanical and biochemical processes that drive cell-wall expansion
during cell growth lays the groundwork for being able to disrupt bacterial
growth in a targeted way. 


During this webinar, Enrique Rojas, a postdoctoral fellow in the labs of
K.C. Huang and Julie Theriot at Stanford University and a Simbios
Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow, will present his discoveries about the
effect of changes in osmotic pressure on Escherichia coli and Bacillus
subtilis cell growth.  He will also describe a new computational model he
has developed to simulate the observed behavior.

Using single-cell, time-lapse microscopy and microfluidic-based cell
culture, he demonstrates that, contrary to a long-standing hypothesis,
osmotic pressure plays a relatively minor role during cell-wall expansion
in the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, and that growth is robust
to changes in osmotic pressure. This may be an important adaptation for an
enteric bacterium, which regularly faces drastic changes in its osmotic
environment during entry and exit from the intestine.  On the other hand,
he shows that the growth rate of the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus
subtilis is very sensitive to osmotic pressures.

Finally, Dr. Rojas discusses the computational model he is developing that
simulates the observed cell-growth behavior.  In the future, such a model
could be used to predict which pathways involved in cell-synthesis would
make successful drug targets.






Joy P. Ku, PhD

Director,   <http://simbios.stanford.edu/> Simbios

Director of Communications & Training,  <http://opensim.stanford.edu/>

Stanford University


(w)  650.736.8434, (f)  650.723.7461

Email:   <mailto:joyku at stanford.edu> joyku at stanford.edu


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