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Frontiers Research Topic

Confirmed Speakers

Tim Clausen
Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna
Title: No stress with pArg - How B. subtilis and friends deal with damaged proteins

Tim Clausen grew up in Kappeln/Schlei (Germany) and studied Biology at the University of Constance specializing in Bio-organic Chemistry (Prof. Dr. S. Ghisla). In 1994, he joined the group of Prof. Dr. Robert Huber (Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany) to learn Protein Crystallography. After obtaining his PhD, Tim continued at the MPI as a Junior Group Leader studying the mechanistic versatility of protein co-factors. In 2002, he was recruited as a Group Leader to the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna (Austria), where he was promoted in 2009 to a Senior Scientist. In their research, the Clausen Group analyzes the mechanisms of protease and chaperone machines implicated in protein misfolding diseases.

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Brian Conlon
University of North Carolina
Title: Novel determinants of antibiotic susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus in the host environment

Brian Conlon received my BSc from NUI Galway in 2005. He was awarded my PhD from University College Dublin in 2009. His research was based on Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm formation. His work with biofilm led me to develop a keen interest in antibiotic tolerance of the biofilm. To this end He began working in Professor Kim Lewis laboratory at Northeastern University in Boston. There, He determined that ATP level of the cell dictated susceptibility to antibiotic killing and identified novel mechanisms to kill antibiotic tolerant persister cells. He was also involved in the charachterization of the novel antibiotic, teixobactin. I joined the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill in 2016 where He is examining the determinants of antbiotic susceptibility of S. aureus in the infection environment while continuing to identify novel ways of targeting and killing this pathogen.

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Frédéric Devaux
l'université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris
Title: Functional genomics of stress responses in the human pathogen Candida glabrata

F. Devaux got his PhD in functional genomics in 2001 at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC, Paris, France). He was recruited as an assistant professor in 2002 in the laboratory of Pr Claude Jacq (ENS, Paris, France). In 2008, he got a full professor position in microbial genomics at UPMC and he created his research team at the laboratory of computational and quantitative biology, studying transcriptional and post-transcriptional stress regulatory networks in various yeast species.

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Wanda Dischert
Metabolic Explorer, France
Title: Coping with stress during industrial fermentation

Wanda DISCHERT holds a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology (2001) of the University of Sciences from Grenoble (FRANCE). She began her professional career at the University of Basel in Switzeland as a researcher on bacterial physiology and cell growth regulation. In 2007, she joined METEX as projects manager responsible of the development of overproducer strains of glycolic acid and L-methionine. During those years, Wanda Dischert led the research and genetic modifications of metabolic pathways of microorganisms to optimize production, deepened her knowledge of metabolic networks as well as techniques associated to synthetic biology. In 2015, she became the manager of the R&D laboratory of METEX while she was still involved in the L-Methionine technology that was successful and ceded to the leader of the amino acids production by fermentation.

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Audrey Gasch
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Title: Cell-to-cell variation in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcriptional response to environmental stress?

Dr. Gasch received her PhD in Biochemistry from Stanford University working with Dr. Patrick Brown, performing some of the early transcriptomic profiling studies using DNA microarrays. She went on to conduct postdoctoral work in comparative genomics with Dr. Mike Eisen at Lawreuence Berkeley National Lab/University of California-Berkeley, studying evolution of transcriptional responses in fungi. Since 2004 she has led her lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Laboratory of Genetics where she continues to study eukaryotic stress defense mechanisms and signaling.

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Jörgen Johansson
Umeå University, Sweden
Title: Understanding the Listeria monocytogenes stressosome and its putative connection with virulence

Jögen Johansson is Professor in Molecular Microbiology at the Department of Molecular Biology and Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) at Umeå University in Sweden. The Johansson group uses the Gram-positive bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes as a model system to study RNA-biology, stress-regulation and to identify novel antivirulence compounds. Together with the Conor O'Byrne group, the Johansson group has described a blue-light receptor that Listeria uses to sense light and adjust its stress-response and survival.

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Linda Kenney
National University of Singapore & University of Illinois-Chicago
Title: A new view of pH regulation in bacteria

Prof. Linda J. Kenney is a Principal Investigator in the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore. She completed a B.S. in Biology at the University of Iowa and then pursued a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kenney was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale and Princeton University, where she began studying signal transduction in E. coli. Subsequently, Dr. Kenney joined Oregon Health and Sciences University as an Assistant Professor in 1994 and was promoted to Associate Professor. She moved to the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2003 and is a Professor of Microbiology. Dr. Kenney has been an active member of the American Society of Microbiology and in the Biophysical Society. In 2014, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Society for initiating a new subgroup in the field of Mechanobiology.

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Teuta Pilizota
University of Edinburgh
Title: Uncovering the reasons behind E. coli's growth rate reduction caused by hyperosmotic challanges

Teuta Pilizota studied undergraduate level physics at University of Zagreb, Department of Physics (Croatia) and obtained her PhD in biophysics from University of Oxford, Department of Physics (UK). During her PhD (in collaboration with Dr. Richard Berry and Prof. Judy Armitage) she developed and used an optical trap optimized for single molecule studies of two rotary molecular motors, bacterial flagellar motor and F1Fo-ATPase. For her post-doctoral training she moved to Princeton University (USA), where her research focus moved to single cell studies of bacterial osmoregulatory network (in collaboration with Prof. Joshua Shaevitz). Teuta joined University of Edinburgh (UK) as a Chancellor’s Fellow (Assistant Professor) in January 2013. Her group’s research focuses on understanding bacterial growth, including osmotically induced growth rate modulations and interaction between osmoregulatory and other bacterial stress response networks. More recently, the group is focusing on dynamics of free energy flows in bacterial cell, in particular free energy maintenance strategies during exposure to various forms of stresses.

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Bert Poolman
University of Groningen
Title: How do cells maintain shape and homeostasis under osmotic stress?

Prof. Bert Poolman has a track record in membrane transport and cellular osmoregulation as well as the development of innovative technologies in membrane biology. He has advanced the field of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and secondary active transporters by combining functional and structural studies. Central questions in his research are: i) how do molecules permeate biological membranes? and ii) how can one control solute fluxes and thereby the volume and physicochemistry of the cell? Poolman has published almost 300 peer-reviewed papers with >19,000 citations. He is editor of the Journal of Molecular Biology. In 2015 he was awarded an ERC Advanced grant.

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