A large and growing problem in medicine is that of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These bacteria assemble themselves into biofilms - sticky molecules that help them clump together and give them more resistance to antibiotics.
MSI PI Mikael Elias (assistant professor, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics) is working on alternative methods of fighting these bacteria. Rather than looking for ways to wipe them out, he designed an enzyme that interferes with the bacteria’s ability to communicate. Without communication, the bacteria are unable to form biofilms. Professor Elias uses MSI resources to run mathematical models that will help derive rules governing microbial communities.
An article about this research appears on the College of Biological Sciences Connect blog: Failure to Communicate.