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Dancing with the Bugs: Choreography for Humans and their Microbial Partners

October 19, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

“Dancing with the Bugs:  Choreography for Humans and their Microbial Partners”
Lecture by Amy Cheng Vollmer, Visiting Phi Beta Kappa Scholar

From the perspective of a typical bacterium or virus, the human body is a perfect incubator:  constant temperature, filled with nutrients, bathed in moisture!  So why are we still around?  How do bacteria sense the presence of a host’s immune response?  How can both the bacterium and host survive?  We’ll consider these topics from a co-evolutionary and inter-dependent point of view.  As well, we will explore the concept that there are many beneficial bacterial commensals, upon whom our lives depend  They impact our physical health as well as our mental health!  This talk will provide an overview to the intertwined worlds of humans and microbes.  It will also include examples of how microbiology is an ideal vehicle for promoting science literacy throughout the curriculum.

Thursday, October 19
7:30 PM
Wells Conference Center, #1

Reception with coffee and dessert to follow.

AMY CHENG VOLLMER, is Isaac H. Clothier, Jr. Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, where she has helped to create initiatives to promote adult science literacy as well as to increase access to and success in STEM fields for a diverse student population. Her teaching, which incorporates active learning in large and small classes, includes microbiology, biotechnology, metabolism, and introductory biology; her research focuses on the regulation of the response of bacteria to environmental stress. She has authored works on basic bacterial genetics and physiology and on applied and environmental microbiology. Serving in numerous leadership capacities as a member of the American Society for Microbiology, she was the 2006 recipient of the ASM’s Carski Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. She is past president of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology.

Part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program.

Founded in 1776, the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities and more than half a million members throughout the country. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.


October 19, 2017
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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