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Announcements:

We are conducting a search for an Assistant Professor in bacteriology. An ideal candidate will bring an innovative research program that synergizes with existing strengths of the department in the areas of bacterial pathogenesis, bacterial cell biology and/or microbial communities; however, all highly qualified individuals pursuing cutting-edge bacteriology research are encouraged to apply. Our department is a collegial, vibrant, interactive community of researchers who are committed to world-class science and training at all levels, including supporting the development of junior faculty. Located in Seattle, the department is part of an extensive network of research institutes and institutes of higher learning that offer a wealth of resources and opportunity for collaboration. All University of Washington faculty engage in teaching, research and service. The position is a full-time, tenure track position in the School of Medicine. Applicants should have a Ph.D., M.D., or foreign equivalent. For consideration, please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, research prospectus, reprints or preprints as a single PDF, a brief statement regarding your teaching experience and/or philosophy, and 3 confidential references via Interfolio (http://apply.interfolio.com/25379). Please note the Interfolio reference process requires you to request references through Interfolio and then return to Interfolio to apply those references to your application after your referee submits them. Applications received by October 24th, 2014 will be given priority review. University of Washington is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as protected veterans, or status as qualified individuals with disabilities.

For questions about this position, please email bbh@uw.edu.


Upcoming Seminars:

January 27, 2015, 4:00 PM, HSB T-639

Michael Fischbach, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences
University of California, San Francisco

"Insights from a global view of secondary metabolism: Small molecules from the human microbiota"

The discovery of natural products – small molecules from microbes often used as drugs – has been an ad hoc pursuit for almost a century. The rapidly growing database of microbial genome sequences offers new opportunities to leverage genomics and bioinformatics toward discovering natural products and characterizing their roles in mediating interspecies interactions. This seminar will describe two convergent, ongoing lines of research: our use of genomics and bioinformatics to identify biosynthetic gene clusters and predict the structures of their small molecule products, and our efforts to identify and characterize small molecules produced by the human microbiota.



February 3, 2015, 4:00 PM, HSB T-639

KC Huang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Bioengineering and Microbiology and Immunology
Stanford University

"It came as a shock: regulation of bacterial growth by osmotic pressure"

It has long been proposed that turgor pressure plays an essential role during bacterial growth by driving mechanical expansion of the cell wall. This hypothesis is based on analogy to plant cells, for which this mechanism has been established, and on experiments in which the growth rate of bacterial cultures was observed to decrease as the osmolarity of the growth medium was increased. To distinguish the effect of turgor pressure from pressure-independent effects that osmolarity might have on cell growth, we monitored the elongation of single Escherichia coli cells while rapidly changing the osmolarity of their media. By plasmolyzing cells, we found that cell-wall elastic strain did not scale with growth rate, suggesting that pressure does not drive cell-wall expansion. Furthermore, in response to hyper- and hypoosmotic shock, E. coli cells resumed their pre-shock growth rate and relaxed to their steady-state rate after several minutes, demonstrating that osmolarity modulates growth rate slowly, independently of pressure. Oscillatory hyperosmotic shock revealed that while plasmolysis slowed cell elongation, the cells nevertheless “stored” growth such that once turgor was re-established the cells elongated to the length that they would have attained had they never been plasmolyzed. In contrast, Bacillus subtilis cells exhibit highly regular growth oscillations in response to hypoosmotic shock that are dependent on peptidoglycan synthesis. The period of these oscillations scales linearly with the magnitude of the shock. By applying a simple mathematical theory to these data, we show that growth oscillations are initiated by mechanical-strain-induced growth arrest. This demonstrates that B. subtilis has developed an elegant system by which turgor pressure both up- and down-regulates the final steps of cell growth.


 

 

 
 
   
 
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Department of Microbiology · University of Washington · Box 357735 · Seattle WA 98195-7735 · phone: (206) 543-5824 · fax: (206) 543-8297 · micro@u.washington.edu