Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Prof. Vanni Bucci Seminar

My former PhD student Vanni Bucci, now Assistant Professor in Biology at U. Mass. Dartmouth, will be back on campus to give a seminar about his research. The talk will be October 10th - 6:15-7:30pm - 346 Curry Student Center. This event is organized by the NU NEWEA (New England Water Environment Association) student group. PIZZA WILL BE SERVED!! Title and abstract are below.

Ecological modeling from metagenomics: predicting multi-species microbial dynamics relevant to Clostridium di fficile infection

The intestinal microbiota is a microbial ecosystem of crucial importance to human health. Understanding how the microbiota confers resistance against enteric pathogens and how antibiotics disrupt that resistance is key to the prevention and cure of intestinal infections. In this talk I will present recent work to infer microbiota ecology directly from time-resolved metagenomics and predict its temporal dynamics. Data from recent experiments on antibiotic-mediated Clostridium diffi cile infection are analyzed to quantify microbial interactions, commensal-pathogen interactions, and the effect of the antibiotic on the community. Numerical simulations and linear stability analysis confirm that the microbiota is multistable and that antibiotic perturbations and C. di fficile inoculation can produce catastrophic shifts that persist even after removal of the perturbations. Importantly, we identify a subnetwork of bacterial groups implicated in protection against C. diffi cile, which is common to mice as well as hospitalized cancer patients.