Events Calendar

04 Nov
Event Type

Lectures, Symposia, Etc.

Topic

Research

Target Audience

Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Graduate Students, Postdocs

University Unit
Department of Bioengineering
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Bioengineering Graduate Seminar: Dr. Vaughn Cooper

Two Tales of Diversification in Biofilms Produced by Opportunists Once Called Pseudomonas

Vaughn Copoper, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine

Abstract:  Why are microbial biofilms diverse and how does this diversity affect function? I will present findings from two projects that examine how opportunistic pathogens colonize and adapt to new biofilm-associated environments, ultimately producing synergistic and stress-tolerant communities. We use experimental population and longitudinal, deep whole genome sequencing to identify the selected genotypes that enable Burkholderia, Acinetobacter, and Pseudomonas bacteria to form persistent populations. We then use genetics, biochemistry, and the latest predictions from structural biology to focus on possible targets to manipulate and prevent their establishment.

Bio:  Vaughn Cooper, Ph.D. is an evolutionary biologist and microbiologist. He is currently Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Computational and Systems Biology, at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. He co-founded and is Director of the Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine (CEBaM), which works to catalyze research and education at the interface of these disciplines.

The Cooper laboratory studies how potential pathogens (e.g. bacteria such as Burkholderia, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, and viruses like SARS-CoV-2) evolve to adapt to new hosts and environments. Other major interests include evolution in biofilms, the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and why genome regions mutate and evolve at different rates. We are proud to have founded EvolvingSTEM (http://evolvingstem.org), a program that provides an authentic classroom research experience for high school students across several states in which they conduct a microbiology experiment that demonstrates evolution in action.

Thursday, November 4 at 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Benedum Hall, Room 157
3700 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Bioengineering Graduate Seminar: Dr. Vaughn Cooper

Two Tales of Diversification in Biofilms Produced by Opportunists Once Called Pseudomonas

Vaughn Copoper, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine

Abstract:  Why are microbial biofilms diverse and how does this diversity affect function? I will present findings from two projects that examine how opportunistic pathogens colonize and adapt to new biofilm-associated environments, ultimately producing synergistic and stress-tolerant communities. We use experimental population and longitudinal, deep whole genome sequencing to identify the selected genotypes that enable Burkholderia, Acinetobacter, and Pseudomonas bacteria to form persistent populations. We then use genetics, biochemistry, and the latest predictions from structural biology to focus on possible targets to manipulate and prevent their establishment.

Bio:  Vaughn Cooper, Ph.D. is an evolutionary biologist and microbiologist. He is currently Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Computational and Systems Biology, at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. He co-founded and is Director of the Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine (CEBaM), which works to catalyze research and education at the interface of these disciplines.

The Cooper laboratory studies how potential pathogens (e.g. bacteria such as Burkholderia, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, and viruses like SARS-CoV-2) evolve to adapt to new hosts and environments. Other major interests include evolution in biofilms, the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and why genome regions mutate and evolve at different rates. We are proud to have founded EvolvingSTEM (http://evolvingstem.org), a program that provides an authentic classroom research experience for high school students across several states in which they conduct a microbiology experiment that demonstrates evolution in action.

Thursday, November 4 at 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Benedum Hall, Room 157
3700 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Topic

Research

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