Applicaiton is open for BBSRC ICASE studentship on "Bacterial electrophysiology for diagnosis and modulation of cell vitality"!
The deadline: 20 January 2023
Recent advances in systems biology, synthetic biology, and physical biology have begun to highlight the significant importance of non-genetic factors in regulation and signalling of cells. It is increasingly recognised that cell physiology works in conjunction with gene-regulation in most biological processes. For many biological processes, analysis of genes is not sufficient to gain full understanding and rationale engineering of biological systems. Consideration of physiological dynamics is crucial for biotechnology and fundamental understanding of cells. However, our understanding of cell physiology is still falling behind molecular investigations, in part due to difficulties of determining the physiological states of cells.
In this collaboration between Cytecom Ltd and Dr Munehiro Asally, University of Warwick, we seek to broaden our understanding of cell physiology by establishing methods for characterising the physiological states of cells and controlling cell growth using electrical stimulation.
Two main goals of this project are:
- To characterise electrically induced membrane potential dynamics
- To modulate growth rates and antibiotic tolerance by electrical stimulation
The project will combine molecular biology, fluorescence time-lapse microscopy, biophysical assays, and computational modelling. Using the model organism E. coliand B. subtilis, the project will establish a novel method for determining and modulating cell physiological states of bacterial cells using Cytecom’s technology. These advancements will offer novel ways for diagnosis of microbial infections, enable classification of bacterial samples, and facilitate developments of antimicrobial compounds. Moreover, the ability to modulate the growth rates could offer a new engineering biology technique that can be combined with synthetic biology tools to control cellular activities in space and time to produce spatially-temporally organised bacterial communities.