We are fascinated by how molecular and cellular interactions can give rise to emergent dynamics in microbial systems. In particular, our goal is to understand how dynamics at the cellular and population level improve bacterial fitness. We typically develop and utilize quantitative biology approaches to inform and constrain mathematical modeling. We use modeling to integrate across molecular, single cell and population level scales to uncover fundamental principles of bacterial physiology, and more recently bacterial electrophysiology.
Ion channel mediated electrical signaling in bacteriaWe are obsessed with the functional roles and mechanisms of ion channel mediated electrical signaling in bacteria, which we discovered in 2015. Our goal is to understand how electrical signaling can give rise to emergent collective dynamics and behaviors in structured communities known as biofilms. Our discoveries are revealing an unexpected functional link between microbiology and neuroscience.
Emergent behaviors: From single cells to populations
One of the overarching goals is to understand emergent dynamics and behavior across spatial and temporal scales. For example, how do interactions among genes and proteins give rise to non-trivial dynamics and phenotypes at the single cell level? And how do interactions among individual cells give rise to emergent collective dynamics and behaviors in the context of structured communities known as biofilms?