We are interested in how ecology and evolution shapes cooperation, cheating and signaling (quorum sensing) in microbial populations, and the implications of this for the evolution of virulence and antibiotic resistance during infection. Our emphasis is on chronic infections such as those found in cystic fibrosis lungs, diabetic ulcers and non-healing wounds.
Professor James Rains is a faculty member of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. He has 13 years of product development experience working for industry leaders Stryker and Smith&Nephew. Professor Rains has ten issued patents and readily works with industry professionals and clinicians to solve healthcare issues.
Design, medical device development, and entrepreneurship.
Work with physicians and industry to develop solutions to unmet clinical needs. If you have a problem that needs to be addressed, we can help you solve it.
Predictive medicine, health informatics, data analytics, modeling, biocuration, neuropathology, neuroengineering
Cassie Mitchell’s research goal centers around expediting clinical translation from bench to bedside using data-enabled prediction. Akin to data-based models used to forecast weather, Cassie’s research integrates disparate, multi-scalar experimental and clinical data sets to dynamically forecast disease. Cassie is the principal investigator of the Laboratory for Pathology Dynamics, which uses a combination of computational, analytical, and informatics-based techniques to identify complex disease etiology, predict new therapeutics, and optimize current interventions. Cassie’s research has predominantly targeted neuropathology, but her research applications in predictive medicine expand across all clinical specialties.
Our lab studies the response of bacteria to antibiotics in order to develop new methods for eradicating persistent bacteria. Bacterial persistence is a form antibiotic resistance in which a transient fraction of bacterial cells tolerates severe antibiotic treatment while the majority of the population is eliminated. These ‘persisters’ can contribute to chronic infections and are a major medical problem. Despite their medical and scientific importance, presistence is not fully understood. A crucial challenge in studying bacterial persistence results from a lack of methods to isolate persisters from the heterogeneous populations in which they occur. As a result, systems-level analysis of persisters is beyond current techniques, and fundamental questions regarding their physiological diversity remain unanswered. Our lab seeks to develop methods to isolate persisters and study them with systems-wide, molecular techniques. The resulting findings will be used to engineer improved antibiotic therapies. Dr. Allison’s previous research included development of a novel method to eradicate pathogenic bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, by metabolic stimulation and the finding that bacteria communicate with each other to alter their tolerance to antibiotics.
The lab is actively developing data analysis methods for learning cytoarchitectonics (layers), mapping brain areas, and distributed segmentation and analysis of large-scale neuroimaging data.
Low-dimensional signal models
Unions of subspaces (UoS) are a generalization of single subspace models that approximate data points as living on multiple subspaces, rather than assuming a global low-dimensional model (as in PCA). Modeling data with mixtures of subspaces provides a more compact and simple representation of the data, and thus can lead to better partitioning (clustering) of the data and help in compression and denoising.
Analyzing the activity of neuronal populations
Advances in monitoring the activity of large populations of neurons has provided new insights into the collective dynamics of neurons. The lab is working on methods that learn and exploit low-dimensional structure in neural activity for decoding, classification, denoising, and deconvolution.
Optimization problems are ubiquitous in machine learning and neuroscience. The lab works on a few different topics in the areas of non-convex optimization and distributed machine learning.
Innovative materials for environmental applications
Water and wastewater treatment
Energy and resources recovery
Energy conversion and storage
Our research centers on the application of innovative materials and devices to address global challenges related to water, energy, food, and environment. It is a two-way practice. Beginning with the challenges, we develop new materials and devices with rational design. Newly developed materials and devices are evaluated during applications, and the experience gained from these applications informs the re-design of the materials and devices. This design-and-evaluation cycle is integral to our research activities and allows continuous improvement.
Eukaryotes, including humans, are 'petri dishes', hosting an abundant and a rich prokaryotic 'microbiome'. The Garg Lab aims to understand the molecular interactions between a eukaryotic host and its microbiome, and how these molecular interactions dictate human health and disease. Using a concoction of innovative tools including bioinformatics, clinical microbiology, mass spectrometry, DNA sequencing, and mass spectrometry-based 2D and 3D spatial imaging, we aim to delineate specific molecules that modulate the dynamics of microbial involvement in our response to genetic and environmental triggers of disease. We characterize the biosynthesis of these small molecule natural products to innovate developement of new therapeutics.
His research interests lie in the fields of polymeric materials, electronic packaging and interconnect, interfacial adhesions, nano-functional material syntheses and characterizations, nano-composites such as well-aligned carbon nanotubes, grahenes, lead-free alloys, flip chip underfill, ultra high k capacitor composites and novel lotus effect coating materials.