Experimentally, our lab studies the growth physiology of bacteria in a variety of different setups. Recent research focus is the growth physiology of different gut bacteria, and we thus study growth in oxygen free conditions using anaerobic hoods.
Batch cultures, in which cells are grown under well-mixed conditions, are used to understand the growth behavior of exponentially growing cells. The effect of flow and turnover on growth behavior is also studied in bioreactors in which bacteria grow in a well mixed environment coupled to a continuous in and outflow of media (what microbiologists call a ‘chemostat’). To emulate the more complex flow conditions in the gut, we also study bacterial growth in more complicated microfluidic setups.
We perform these experiments under different gut-relevant conditions, varying for example nutrients sources or pH. To understand the physiological basis underlying our growth observations, we couple these efforts with a characterization of the cells, looking at important physiological processes or gene expression patterns.