Bartlett Selected for Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award
Thomas Bartlett, a graduate student in Molecular Biology the Gitai lab, has been selected for a Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award to recognize outstanding achievement in graduate studies. Microbiologists have known that Vibrio cholerae cells have a characteristic curved or bent shape for over 160 years, but no one has figured out how or why. Thomas discovered that V. cholerae achieves this curved shape with a protein he named CrvA (Curvature regulator in vibrio A), which forms a cytoskeleton-like filament in the periplasm, at the inner curved face of the cell. CrvA generates curvature by slowing the local growth rate, causing the outer face of the cell to grow faster than the inner face. This curvature helps V. cholerae to migrate through gels, and promotes colonization and pathogenesis in animal models of cholera. Thomas will participate in the annual Weintraub Award Symposium on Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Fred Hutch center in Seattle, a symposium honoring Hal Weintraub and his commitment to innovative science.