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Take a voyage with us into the deep. Stefan Sievert, a microbial oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will provide a glimpse into the harsh and bizarre world at the bottom of the ocean — where life survives without sunlight and under pressure high enough to crush the metal submersibles sent there to explore. In what could constitute as an extreme biopsy, Sievert has been among the first to collect microbial samples from the very bottom of the sea floor and below. His treasure-trove haul is providing an understanding of the diversity and function of microbial life in the oceans and its implication for both health and disease in all species above, including us landlubbers.
Coming up for air, we then will hear from John Dekker, chief of NIAID's Bacterial Pathogenesis and Antimicrobial Resistance Unit. Dekker studies extremophiles of our own making in the form of microbes grown resistant to antibiotics. He uses genomic techniques to understand the evolutionary mechanisms by which resistance emerges in this natural context; and his talk will focus on next-generation sequencing for infectious disease diagnostics, including metagenomic and nanopore-based approaches.
Don your Jacques Cousteau cap and, as always, be prepared to be dazzled and demystified.
The Demystifying Medicine Lecture Series is designed to help bridge the gap between advances in biology and their applications to major human diseases. The lectures include presentations of patients, pathology, diagnosis, and therapy in the context of major diseases and current research. All clinicians, trainees including fellows, medical students, Ph.D. students, and other healthcare and research professionals are welcome to attend.