IMA Lecture: It's good to talk: mathematically modelling bacterial conversations - Mohit Dalwadi

Watson Building - Lecture Theatre B, Zoom - registration required
Tuesday 16 May 2023 (18:30-19:30)

Registration is required only for online access, please use MyIMA. Further information on the IMA website.

For more information please email the organisers.

Speaker: Mohit Dalwadi (University College, London).

While a single bacterium is almost insignificant to humans, a colony of bacteria working together can be hugely impactful to human life, both positively and negatively. In order to work as a team, bacteria communicate with one another using intercellular signalling, or 'quorum sensing', to share information and respond collectively to aspects of their surroundings. Since this process requires molecules to diffuse between cells, it is vulnerable to molecule removal by environmental effects, such as external fluid flow – a ubiquitous feature of bacterial habitats ranging from the gut and lungs to lakes and oceans.

In this talk, I will present a multiscale mathematical model to identify the conditions required for quorum-sensing activation in the presence of fluid flow, by systematically linking genetic and physical processes from the cell to the population level. The model predicts that the same processes that cause a distinguished activation signal also promote robustness 'for free'. I will also show how the model can be used to understand how bacterial populations are able to distinguish between different types of changes in their external environment.

(Parking details: Parking in North East multi-storey car park is free after 18:00. Access is via Pritchatts Road, use postcode B15 2SA for satnavs.)