Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Grace E. Johnson, PhD

Dr. Johnson [HHMI Fellow] studies the role that a particular type of cell-cell communication, known as quorum sensing, plays in the development of spatially structured bacterial communities called biofilms. Biofilm formation promotes disease in many clinically relevant bacterial species, and infections caused by them pose severe risks for patients receiving chemotherapy. Dr. Johnson is currently investigating how quorum sensing within biofilms establishes patterns of gene expression, and in turn, how these patterns drive biofilm development and dictate biofilm architectural features. By defining mechanisms underlying biofilm formation and biofilm architecture, Dr. Johnson hopes to contribute to the generation of new approaches for disrupting quorum-sensing-controlled bacterial community interactions as a means of combating bacterial pathogens. Dr. Johnson received her PhD from MIT and her BS from Yale University.

Project title: "Defining quorum-sensing signaling patterns and their effects on gene expression and morphology in V. cholerae biofilms at the single-cell and community levels"
Institution: Princeton University
Named Award: HHMI Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Bonnie L. Bassler, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Microbiology