EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "Inference of Bacterial Dynamics in the Digestive Tract"


Event details

Date 17.05.2021
Hour 16:0016:30
Speaker Prof. Claude Loverdo, Laboratoire Jean Perrin, CNRS - Sorbonne Université, Paris (F)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
(note that this talk is number one of a double-feature seminar - see details of the second talk here)

In many animals, the digestive tract is home to a very important microbiota, both in numbers and in function. While direct in vivo visualization of the microbiota is possible for some small animals, it is in general not experimentally feasible. One tool to study the gut microbiota in vivo is to use tagged bacteria: comparing distribution of tags at different moments in the experiment we infer biologically relevant parameters using stochastic models of bacterial population dynamics and branching processes. We confront estimates produced by different methods for assessing the model validity, and extend to more realistic bacterial replication. We contributed to show that one main physical effect of antibodies, the main effector of the adaptive immune response secreted in the gut, is to cross-link bacteria into clusters as they divide, preventing them from interacting with epithelial cells, thus protecting the host. We then developed a simple ordinary differential equations model of these bacterial clusters, and studied how the interplay of the time scales of bacterial growth and of link breaking could enable the immune system to target the most problematic bacteria.

Trained as a physicist, Claude Loverdo develops models at the interface with biology, in collaboration with experimentalists. She did a physics PhD on first passage time in biological systems in Paris, France, then a post-doc modeling infectious diseases at UCLA, USA, and then at the ETH, Switzerland. She has been a CNRS researcher at Sorbonne Université since 2014.

Zoom link (with registration) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks

IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this seminar can be followed via Zoom web-streaming only, (following prior one-time registration through the link above).

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Registration required