Dr David Riglar - Harvard Medical School

Dr David Riglar - Harvard Medical School

Location: 
Seminar Room 1
Start Time: 
Mon, 21/11/2016 - 11:00am
End Time: 
Mon, 21/11/2016 - 12:00pm
Gut Feelings: engineering bacterial circuits to probe the mammalian gut in sickness and in health

Director's lecture series hosted by Professor Doug Hilton

David has undertaken the first two years of his Fellowship in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

David is investigating new approaches to measure transient events in the mammalian gut. Limitations to non-invasive interrogation of this complex environment make diagnosis and monitoring of gut diseases difficult, slow, and often unreliable. In particular, current techniques are either invasive and costly, such as colonoscopy, or rely on the extremely limited set of indirect biomarkers that are stable enough to be excreted in feces. The same methodological limitations have broader impacts also, with many fundamental questions unanswered on a more basic level. For example, current technology is unable to measure the growth dynamics of individual bacteria. This question, however, is central to understanding colonisation of the gut by pathogens and probiotics alike. To address these issues David and his colleagues are developing engineered bacteria as sensors of the mammalian gut. Using these bacteria as tools he aims to better understand gut function and to better detect, understand and treat gut disorders.

On return to Australia, David will continue his research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.