Maryam Kohram

mak336@pitt.edu

Research

Currently, the term “biological aging” or “senescence” is well defined in human beings and multicellular organisms. However, this concept is somewhat more complicated in unicellular organisms. My research focuses on understanding the cellular processes responsible for aging in Escherichia coli. I investigate the components that shape cellular phenotypes such as cell size, protein content, and cell-division control at the single-cell level. I will be attempting to find the parameters relevant to bacterial aging and get an extensive model of how a cell undergoes senescence under stress, and in normal conditions. This requires the study of localization of proteins to the cell pole and an overall study of content diffusion in the cell and especially the poles. The causes of aging and death relate to damage created in the cell. Whether this damage is exhibited as accumulation of proteins, how and why this damage starts, and will it be inherited to the daughters or not, are issues that I’m interested in. I use long-term single-cell measurements using microfluidic devices. I am also in the process of developing a new device which can trap a cell from birth to death. This device will provide more insight into the statistical properties of populations, and assist in better understanding of cellular behavior.

Thesis Title

Bacterial Growth Mechanisms and Their Role in Cell Size Homeostasis and Senescence

Advisor - Early Years

Dr. Hanna Salman

Degree

PhD

Graduate Advisor

Hanna Salman