Bacteria have sophisticated individual and social behavior. They are able to move toward favorable environments and communicate with each other to establish organized communities.
We are interested in understanding the elemental rules and molecular mechanisms that enable bacteria to interpret and navigate complex environments. We are currently focusing our efforts on characterizing bacterial behavior when interacting with the human host in health and disease.
We use microfluidics to mimic and manipulate the environmental conditions bacteria find within the host. We use video microscopy to analyze individual cell behavior and performance in structured microenvironments.
Our goal is to understand:
(1) how bacteria colonize complex environments such as the human host,
(2) how pathogenic bacteria penetrate the host physical defenses,
(3) identify strategies to prevent bacterial infections.