Sampriti Mukherjee, Ph.D.

Sampriti Mukherjee, Ph.D.

The University of Chicago

Sampriti Mukherjee is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. Mukherjee received her Ph.D. from Indiana University under Professor Daniel Kearns and conducted her postdoctoral work in Professor Bonnie Bassler’s group at Princeton University. Her research aims to understand how bacteria decode and integrate self-generated and environmental stimuli to control collective behaviors.

Her research program at the University of Chicago focuses on 2 topics:

1. Photo sensing in bacteria. Although light is a ubiquitous environmental stimulus and photoreceptors are found in diverse non-photosynthetic bacteria, the function of photosystems in non-photosynthetic bacteria is mostly unknown. Her work identified an entire photo-sensing cascade in the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa—enabling crucial insight into light-driven control of bacterial behaviors relevant to human disease. The Mukherjee lab is characterizing the photo-sensing signaling system to define the physiological role of light and explore the possibility of using light as an antibacterial therapeutic.

2. Convergence of sensory signaling pathways. It is imperative that bacteria integrate varied sensory cues to make key behavioral transitions; however, the mechanisms by which they do so are poorly understood. The objective is to identify factors that can function as information hubs. They are studying how photo-sensing, quorum-sensing, and nutrient-sensing cues are integrated to control biofilm development. 

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