Alexandre Bisson, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Biology
Institution
Brandeis University
Address
415 South St.
City, State, ZIP
Waltham, MA 02453
Phone
781-736-4923
Email
[email protected]
Website
www.bissonlab.com
Research field
Microbiology
Award year
2021

Research

The Bisson lab will probe the molecular mechanisms through which single-celled organisms can radically change their shape. Archaea are unique organisms across the tree of life: Although they lack a nucleus and an appearance that mistakenly connected them to bacteria, they possess genes that are closely related to our own. That makes archaea the perfect object to understand the emergence of complex life as we know. A complex task that some of these creatures are notorious for is the facility of shapeshifting—they are able to quickly reconfigure their cell structure based on their interaction to the physical and chemical world around them. My laboratory will study how archaeal cells perceive and respond to these environmental signals by creating unusual cellular patterns. Using cutting-edge techniques in live-cell microscopy, microfluidics, and cellular genetics, combined with computational methods for monitoring the movement of cells and single molecules within them, we will study how the rearrangement of molecules controls cell shape transitions, driving different cell behaviors of one or more microbial species sharing the same community. These findings could lead to new therapeutics based on creating specific shapes in synthetic cells on demand that can facilitate the delivery of drugs and the refitting of the human microbiome.

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