Friday, July 31, 2015
Graduate Student Anagha Kadam Awarded First Prize at Europneumo 2015
Anagha Kadam, a third year graduate student, attended the 12th European Meeting on the Molecular Biology of the Pneumococcus (Europneumo 2015), held at Oxford, England this July.
Kadam, who is researching bacterial pathogenisis in the Hiller lab, gave an oral presentation on her work on the characterization of a new quorum sensing system in pneumococcus and was awarded first prize out of the fifteen Ph.D. students presenting their work at the meeting.
Kadam submitted an abstract on her work on the discovery and characterization of the novel cell-cell communication system that she believes allows pneumococcus cells to communicate with each other, perhaps to mount and attach to surrounding bacterial cells.
Quorum sensing represents bacterial communication machinery that enables individual bacterial cells to sense their surroundings and mount "intelligent", unified responses to cope with the host environment. Kadam's work on the discovery and mechanism of a new quorum sensing system, unique to only a group pandemic, multi-drug resistant strains of pneumococcus, signals that this unique code may represent a "dialect" that enables subgroups in a bacterial population to communicate and play a role in the strain.
The emphasis of Europneumo 2015 was on molecular microbiology and host/pathogen interactions. This is an important meeting in the field, as it provides a platform for researchers from across the world to discuss their recent discoveries and how they advance our understanding of Streptococcus pneumoniae (informally referred to as pneumo), a major human pathogen and fascinating bacteria in its own right.