Northwestern Events Calendar


M-I Dept. Bacteriology Faculty Candidate - Role of Mobile Genes in the Community Interactions of the Intestinal Microbiota

When: Friday, October 28, 2022
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CT

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, Baldwin Auditorium, 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cynthia Naugles   (312) 503-0489

Group: Department of Microbiology-Immunology Seminars/Events

Category: Lectures & Meetings



Role of Mobile Genes in the Community Interactions of the Intestinal Microbiota


Leonor Garcia-Bayona, PhD, University of Chicago, Postdoctoral Scholar


The intestinal microbiota plays a major role in human health and is therefore the focus of significant interest as a target for therapeutic interventions. Our gut microbial community is quickly evolving with us, even on the timescale of a human lifetime, following changes in modern lifestyles, especially in industrialized countries. I aim to understand how horizontal gene transfer shapes interactions in the microbiota and what the implications of this widespread phenomenon are for community properties relevant to human health (for example, resilience of a healthy microbiota to perturbations). I recently identified a biofilm-formation encoding plasmid that frequently spreads across multiple Bacteroidales species. This plasmid is also exceptional because of its high frequency of intrapersonal transfer, recent spread, and its ubiquity across global human populations. I’m using a combination of genetics, microscopy and population-level analyses to explore the individual and community phenotypes mediated by this plasmid in vitro and in gnotobiotic mouse models.


M.-N. Frances Yap, PhD

Associate Professor

Bacteriology Faculty Search Committee

Dept. of Microbiology-Immunology

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Chicago, IL


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