Director of the Microbial Diversity Institute; HHMI Investigator
Bacterial multiplication, cell division; chromosome segregation; cell cycle coordination; cell morphogenesis, cytokeleton, cell polarity
We study the molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial multiplication. Bacteria are renowned for their fast multiplication. During their short cell cycles, bacteria grow, replicate and segregate their chromosomes and divide. They do all of this with sometimes blazing speed and with remarkable temporal and spatial accuracy, which explains their success.
Despite the medical, agricultural and ecological importance of bacteria, little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in growth, DNA segregation, cell division and cell morphogenesis. Similarly, the temporal and spatial mechanisms regulating these essential processes remain largely elusive. We address these fundamental questions using genetics, biochemistry, quantitative fluorescence microscopy and modeling.