Seminar Series – 20 April

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SymbNET Online Seminar Series

Monthly seminars on host-microbe symbiosis, genomics, and metabolomics, with two talks from SymbNET researchers.

The seminars are open and free to all, but registration is required.

Please register once for the entire seminar series.



20 Apr 2023 (Th),

Hybrid seminar @FCG-IGC and online


15h00 WEST // 16h00 CEST

Speaker: Kiran Patil

Affiliation: MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Cambridge, UK

Title: What drugs and pollutants do to our bugs.

Abstract: The microbiota, with mass comparable with vital organs and genetic diversity surpassing that of the host, can modify drugs and other xenobiotics, which can in turn impact microbiome structure and function. Impaired xenobiotics-microbiome-host links can affect various physiological processes ranging from immune to neuronal responses. Yet, microbiota interactions remain unknown for many drugs and other xenobiotics that we are exposed to (e.g., environmental pollutants). I will present results from studies showing extensive chemical-microbiome interactions and discuss implications for One Health.


15h30 WEST // 16h30 CEST

Speaker: Mariana Pinho

Affiliation: Bacterial Cell Biology Lab (ITQB NOVA, Oeiras, Portugal)

Title: Mechanisms for regulation of cell cycle progression in the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. 

Abstract: Unregulated cell cycle progression may have lethal consequences and therefore bacteria have various mechanisms in place for the precise spatiotemporal control of cell cycle events. We have uncovered a new link between chromosome replication/segregation and splitting of the division septum. We found that the divisome protein FtsK, with a DNA translocase domain, regulates cellular levels of a peptidoglycan hydrolase, Sle1, involved in cell separation in the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Upon DNA damage or impaired DNA replication/segregation, Sle1 levels are reduced, halting premature septum splitting and avoiding exposure of an immature cell surface.