In this project, we are engineering macroscopic pattern formation of bacteria on agar surfaces. The student will work in the Synthetic Biological Systems Laboratory at Columbia University under the guidance of two current graduate students over a period of 10 weeks. They will focus on genetically engineering bacteria to modulate pattern-forming behavior on agar plates and collecting a large dataset of images of the engineered strains’ patterns, as well as some basic coding for analysis of the images. They will also focus on development and evaluation of imaging and image analysis setup for more accurate quantitative measurement of bacterial pattern formation. Depending on the progress of the project, they will research and identify new environmental conditions of interest under which novel pattern types are formed, collecting an additional exploratory dataset. The student may also work on DNA extraction, PCR, and transformation required to engineer new strains. At the end of the summer, they will compile their results and present them to the lab. The student will receive training in synthetic biology and image processing.
Name of Lab: Danino Lab
Direct Supervisor: Anjali Doshi and Marian Shaw
Hours per week: 40 hr/week
Position type: On site
Qualifications: Synthetic Biology
Eligibility: Sophomore, Junior
SEAS students only: Yes