MSE Seminar - Dr. Peter Yunker

MSE Seminar
Event Date:
Monday, April 17, 2017 - 4:00pm to 6:30pm
Location:
GTMI/Callaway Bldg. Auditorium

Dr. Peter Yunker

Assistant Professor

School of Physics

Georgia Institute of Technology

Monday, April 17, 2017

4:00 p.m. GTMI/Callaway Bldg. Auditorium

Reception at 3:30 p.m. in the GTMI Atrium

 

“CONTACT KILLING IN BIOFILMS: HOW ISING MODEL PHYSICS

DRIVES THE EVOLUTION OF COOPERATION, AND MORE”

 

Abstract:

 

Most bacteria live in biofilms; the spatial structure of a biofilm confers advantages to its member-cells, such as antibiotic resistance, and is strongly affected by competition between strains and taxa. However, a complete picture of how competition affects the self-organized structure of these complex, far-from-equilibrium systems, is yet to emerge. Here we describe a class of self-organization that operates within densely packed bacterial populations. Through physical modelling and experiments with Vibrio cholerae, we show how killing adjacent competitors via the Type VI secretion system (T6SS) precipitates phase separation via the ‘Model A' universality class of order-disorder transition – typically associated with coarsening in the Ising model – mediated by killing. We further demonstrate how the physics governing this coarsening holds surprising biological consequences

 

Biography:

 

Peter Yunker did his PHD with Arjun Yodh at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied colloidal glasses and the coffee-ring effect. He then did a post-doc with Dave Weitz in Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, with a secondary appointment at New England Biolabs with Shaoron Chong. There, he studied the in vitro assembly of membrane proteins at oil-water interfaces. Since joining the faculty in Georgia Tech’s School of Physics in 2015, his lab has investigate the unique and surprising soft matter physics of living systems.