An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Bacterial Cell Cycle

June 2018

Recent technological advances enhanced our ability to follow, monitor, and measure cell growth at the single-cell level, and enable the generation of large amounts of high-quality data, following cell growth over many generations. Combined with the appropriate mathematical and biophysical modeling, this has led to significant advances in our understanding of both the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell cycle, and the field is now flourishing with numerous experimental and theoretical groups making exciting discoveries. In particular, much attention has been given to the bacterial cell cycle, better understanding of which has profound implications for combatting pathogens, developing new antibiotics, and tackling the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance. In addition, some of the results may be applicable for higher organisms. For these reasons, now seems like the perfect time to bring a set of experts in the field—theorists and experimentalists studying the bacterial cell cycle and its regulation—to attempt to look for the unifying principles and to learn from each other’s knowledge and expertise. The seminar will bring together a group of scientists from various disciplines, including genetics, systems biology, physics, mathematics, and engineering, and by allowing a significant amount of time for discussions rather than formal seminars, we will encourage the initiation of novel collaborations among the participants and a real exchange of ideas across boundaries.