About Vernita D Gordon
B.S. in Physics and Math, Vanderbilt University, 1997 Ph.D. in Physics, Harvard University, 2003 I've been part of the faculty in the Physics Department at the University of Texas at Austin since 2010. I enjoy thinking about how the structure and mechanics of multicellular bacterial systems impinge on their biology, and how this perspective could lead to new approaches to treating disease.
One of the major physical characteristics distinguishing biofilms from planktonic bacteria is that bacteria in biofilms are arranged with well-defined, fairly fixed spatial structure. Little is known about how spatial structure impacts biological characteristics of biofilms. Here is a link to a short newsletter article my student and I wrote about using laser trapping to control biofilm structure, and how this could allow determination of the effects of biofilm structure on biofilm biology.
Behind the Paper - Evolutionary adaptations of biofilms infecting cystic fibrosis lungs promote mechanical toughness by adjusting polysaccharide production