Michael Davis, Ph.D

There are four active projects in my lab, all devoted to taking advantage of the ecological and behavioral diversity of the microbial world. One is studying interactions between gut microbes and their hosts, using a new model system, planaria (flatworms) as the experimental animals. The second is a bioremediation project, isolating bacteria which catabolize gasoline as their source of carbon and energy, and using those bacteria alone or in combination to render gasoline contaminated soil safe for normal use. The third project uses bacteriophage (bacteria-specific viruses) as an antibacterial agent for the skin disease acne, targeting the bacterial species that causes serious acne lesions. The final project is working with bacteriophage specific for food-borne pathogens, developing kitchen-based protocols to decontaminate produce like lettuce or alfalfa sprouts which are not cooked before consuming.