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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Measuring Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT)

Location

Material Measurement Laboratory, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division

RO# Location
50.64.41.B8208 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Forry, Samuel P. sam.forry@nist.gov 301.975.5246
Jackson, Scott Ashley scott.jackson@nist.gov 301.975.5460

Description

Although bacteria typically reproduce asexually, they have developed multiple methods to share genetic information via Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT, also called Lateral Gene Transfer). These mechanisms operate across species delineations, accelerate the adaptation of microbial communities to dynamic environments, and can be triggered or promoted in response to stressful conditions. For example, HGT is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance determinants following the introduction of new antibiotics, and the genes conferring antimicrobial resistance are increasingly common on mobile genetic elements among all bacteria, including non-pathogens. While the evidence for, and importance of, HGT is readily found in microbial genomes, the specific microbiological mechanisms and triggers are diverse, remain poorly understood, and cannot currently be measured quantitatively in mixed communities. The goal of this opportunity is the development of in vitro models of HGT to better measure HGT events the laboratory and model the environmental conditions that promote them.

 

Keywords:
Microbial communities; Horizontal gene transfer; Antimicrobial resistance;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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