Dr. Sampriti Mukherjee has very long been fascinated with sensory notion and the way exterior signals are translated into behaviors in human beings and other organisms. At the newly introduced Sampriti Mukherjee Lab at the Office of Molecular Genetics and Mobile Biology, she will emphasis this curiosity on microorganisms and how they reply to alerts to transition from behaving as particular person cells to performing collectively. Mukherjee hopes to pave the way for new therapeutic interventions addressing the ongoing disaster of multidrug-resistant bacteria.

Bacterial mutations coupled with the continual use of antibiotics in treating bacterial infections have caused infectious germs to become more and more resistant to antibiotics. Fashionable drugs desperately requirements a way to change off or get around antibiotic resistance in microbes. Mukherjee’s lab will look into a potential way to do this.

In accordance to the Mukherjee lab web site, their “overarching intention is to understand how microorganisms decode and combine self-produced and environmentally-derived stimuli to handle transitions between individual and collective behaviors.”

Mukherjee advised The Maroon that she is intrigued in the “social aspect” of microbes. Microorganisms are living in their own societies and connect with every other by secreting and acquiring tiny molecules. For example, when a bacterium gets plenty of molecular signals to “know” that it is living with several fellow bacteria, it will exhibit specified behaviors. This reaction to inhabitants density is acknowledged as quorum sensing. A single of the behaviors that can outcome from quorum sensing is the formation of a biofilm, or a structured antibiotic-resistant group that can make micro organism a powerful pathogen.

For her postdoctoral research at Princeton College, Mukherjee analyzed quorum sensing and biofilm development. She appeared at the human pathogen *Pseudomonas aeruginosa* and created a surprising discovery. She identified that mild could inhibit its biofilm development. “Indeed, I can glow light on *P. aeruginosa* and repress biofilm formation and virulence variable output,” she writes on her Google web site. This acquiring was especially attention-grabbing simply because *P. aeruginosa* is a non-photosynthetic bacterium, so its photoreceptors are largely mysterious and under-researched.

Mukherjee is at the moment “dissecting how quorum sensing and photo sensing converge to management bacterial collective behaviors,” in accordance to her Google web page. She informed The Maroon that she has characterized the downstream pathway of the major photoreceptor in *P. aeruginosa* and that in the potential she hopes to collaborate with other labs on campus to experiment with phototherapy on mice. She also hopes to “understand the photoreceptor at a molecular level” with the use of biochemistry tactics to finally be ready to manipulate this mild-driven biofilm development and reduce antibiotic resistance.

The coronavirus pandemic has offered difficulties in location up a new lab this fall. “You can’t just wander into somebody else’s lab [for a tour],” Mukherjee said. She has also “always interacted with and trained undergraduates and graduate students,” a thing the pandemic has built difficult nowadays. Even so, Mukherjee has been capable to familiarize herself with Chicago considerably. “I enjoy the lake,” she stated. “The park by the lake is excellent.”