Dissertation Defense Announcement
To:  The George Mason University Community

Candidate: Scott N. Dean

Program: PhD in Biosciences

Date:   Thursday April 21, 2016

Time:   11:00 AM
Place:  George Mason University
             Science & Tech (Prince William) Campus<>
             Bull Run Hall, Room 130

Title: "Signal Transduction in Francisella novicida"
Committee Chair: Dr. Monique van Hoek

Committee Members:  Dr. Serguei Popov, Dr. Dmitri Klimov, Dr. Barney Bishop

A copy of the dissertation is available in the Gateway Library.  All are invited to attend the defense.
Francisella tularensis is a biothreat pathogen and causative agent of tularemia in humans. In previous work we have shown that Francisella forms biofilm. We have determined the mechanisms by which Francisella novicida disperses biofilm. Specifically, we examined the response of Francisella to a small molecule trigger cis-2-dodecenoic acid produced by Burkholderia (Burkholderia Diffusible Signal Factor, BDSF). In this work we take different perspectives on the dispersal of Francisella biofilms. Through the application of antimicrobial peptides, other small molecule signals, mutation of a transcriptional regulator qseB, and other studies, we identified similar pathways suggestive of a common mechanism of biofilm dispersal regardless of trigger. Other related topics are discussed.