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Directory >> Everett Peter Greenberg, PhD


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Contact Information

Everett Peter Greenberg, PhD

  • Professor, Department of Microbiology
  • University of Washington

As a microbiologist, Dr. Greenberg is interested in the social behavior of bacteria. A primary focus has been on the coordination of activities in groups of bacteria, with an emphasis on cell-to-cell communication and a phenomenon that is known as quorum sensing. Many bacteria use chemical signals as cues to coordinate activities of individuals in groups. This allows population density dependent differential gene expression, and it can function in the development of specialized sessile communities known as biofilms. Signaling plays a critical role in the development of chronic and persistent bacterial infections. Investigators in Dr. Greenberg's laboratory have determined the structures of several signal molecules, elucidated the mechanism of signal synthesis, and studied how the signals activate gene expression.

The Greenberg lab's current research examines the role of cell-to-cell signaling in bacterial virulence, and the basic mechanisms of the signaling process. This work is currently focused on opportunistic pathogens like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and how bacteria adapt phenotypically and genetically for persistence in the host. The group is also interested in self vs. non-self discrimination in bacteria. Dr. Greenberg collaborates with Dr. Samuel Miller.

Selected Publications

Christensen, Q. H., T. L. Grove, S. J. Booker and E. P. Greenberg. 2013. A high-throughput screen for quorum-sensing inhibitors that target acyl-homoserine lactone synthases Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110:13815-13820.
PubMed Abstract

Schuster, M, D. J. Sexton, S. P. Diggle and E. P. Greenberg. 2013. Acyl-homoserine lactone quorum sensing: from evolution to application. Annu Rev Microbiol. 67:43-63
PubMed Abstract

Wang M, Schaefer AL, Dandekar AA, & Greenberg EP (2015) Quorum sensing and policing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa social cheaters. Proc Natl Acad of Sci USA 112:2187-2191. PMCID: PMC4343120
PubMed Abstract

Scholz RL & Greenberg EP (2015) Sociality in Escherichia coli: Enterochelin is a private good at low cell density and can be shared at high cell density. J Bacteriol
Journal of Bacteriology Abstract

Schuster M, Sexton DJ, Diggle SP, & Greenberg EP (2013) Acyl-homoserine lactone quorum sensing: from evolution to application. Annu Rev Microbiol 67:43-63.
PubMed Abstract

Dandekar, A. A., S. Chugani, and E. P. Greenberg. 2012. Bacterial quorum sensing and metabolic incentives to cooperate. Science 338: 264-266.

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