Research Interests

Bacterial social behaviors and quorum sensing

Our lab is interested in the quorum sensing system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and select other Proteobacteria. Quorum sensing is an intercellular communication system that allows bacteria to send and respond to their environment in a coordinated manner by engaging a specific genetic program. We use the quorum sensing system of P. aeruginosa to model social behaviors, including public-goods cooperation, defection (“social cheating”), and interspecies competition. We are interested in using P. aeruginosa to answer questions about the emergence and stabilization of social behaviors in communities.


Cystic fibrosis microbiology

Dr. Dandekar is also a cystic fibrosis pulmonologist and so we are also interested in understanding the impact of mutations to the quorum sensing system on the natural course of P. aeruginosa lung infection in patients with cystic fibrosis, and, by extension, how bacterial social behaviors might be relevant in this complex disease.


quorum sensing • microbial sociality: cooperation & conflict