Bacteria, primitive single-celled organisms, communicate with chemical languages that allow them to synchronize their behavior and thereby act as enormous multicellular organisms. This process, called quorum sensing, enables bacteria to successfully infect and cause disease in plants, animals, and humans. Investigations of the molecular mechanisms underlying quorum sensing are advancing the development of novel strategies to interfere with the process. Dr. Bassler's current research focuses on disease therapies that interfere with quorum sensing and prevent bacteria from carrying out a deadly attack. She will discuss her revolutionary research and its profound implications for the fields of biology and medicine.
Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge. For more information, contact Stephanie Shaw at 301-975-2667. Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.