David Zuckerman, Ph.D.
: (914) 633-2279
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2009
BA, Case Western Reserve University, 1998
Microbiology is the discipline of studying life that is too small to see without using microscopes. Microbes live all around us, and contribute to our environment, health, and disease. We now appreciate that many bacteria do not live solitary lives, but live in communities, called biofilms, and individuals within biofilms are more resistant to drug treatments and other control measures. Dr. Zuckerman's research focus is on the cell biology of the soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus
. M. xanthus
is a model social bacterium, and communities of these cells carry out many complex functions that require coordinated activities. These functions include predation on other bacteria and formation of spore-filled fruiting bodies during starvation. Dr. Zuckerman's primary research interests include examining cell movement across surfaces and determining of how protein structures within the cell contribute to the shape and behavior of the bacteria. A better understanding of these features will help inform us how individual cells coordinate their behaviors within larger communities, and the overall cellular organization.