Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Jung-Shen Benny Tai, PhD

Dr. Tai studies bacterial biofilms or aggregates of bacterial cells in an extracellular matrix. Biofilms play a critical role in many health and industry settings. Biofilm-forming bacteria and imbalance in patients’ gut microbiota have been found to correlate with cancer development, and cancer patients receiving therapy frequently suffer from bacterial infections. From the unique perspectives of microbiology, soft matter physics, and ecology, Dr. Tai aims to decipher how, at the single bacteria cell level, heterogeneities in cell shape, organization, and gene expression constitute the function and development of their collective communities: biofilms. His work is expected to deepen our understanding of bacterial biofilms and ultimately contribute to therapeutic strategies.

Project title: "From form to function: Cell shape, cell ordering, and gene regulation in bacterial biofilm"
Institution: Yale University / Michigan State University
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Jing Yan, PhD (Yale University), and Christopher Waters, PhD (Michigan State University)
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Microbiology