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Dr. Poonam Gulati, Associate Professor and, Honors Program Coordinator, Biology Program Coordinator
PhD, Cornell University, 1988.
BS, Cornell University, 1982.
My research involves studying how cells interact with each other and how this interaction leads to cellular differentiation. Myxococcus xanthus, is a Gram negative, soil bacterium that initiates development upon nutrient limitation. During this time, the rod-shaped vegetative cells changes into spores. This developmental cycle requires cell-cell signaling. We want to understand how one signal works early during development. This signal, termed A signal, allows the cells to sense their environment and then react in an appropriate manner. M. xanthus is an excellent system to study cell-cell signaling because it is a prokaryote. Thus, it is easy to use for biochemical and genetic studies. It is also the only prokaryote that proceeds through development multicellularly. Thus, understanding this system may help to understand more complex systems.
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