Skip to main content

Gurol Suel


Our laboratory discovered ion channel-mediated electrical signaling among bacteria that reside in biofilm communities. We are investigating how these “action potentials” in biofilms give rise to emergent collective behaviors in biofilms and beyond. Accordingly, we integrate quantitative biology approaches with mathematical modeling and theory to identify principles of bacterial organization and coordination.

research image

Select Publications

  • Species-independent attraction to biofilms through electrical signaling Humphries J, Xiong L, Liu L, Prindle L, Yuan F, Tsimring L and Süel GM Cell, (2017) vol 168, num 1
  • Ion channels enable electrical communication in bacterial communities Prindle A., Liu J., Asally M., Ly S., Garcia-Ojalvo J., Süel G.M. Nature, (2015), vol 527, num 7576
  • Metabolic codependence gives rise to collective oscillations within biofilms. Liu J., Prindle A,. Humphries J., Gabalda-Sagarra M., Asally M., Lee D.D., Ly S., Garcia-Ojalvo J., Süel, G.M. Nature (2015) vol 523, num 7562
  • Chromosomal locations of phosphorelay genes controls the Bacillus subtilis response to starvation. Narula J.*, Kuchina A.*, Lee D., Fujita M., Süel G.M. and Igoshin O.A. Cell (2015) vol 163, num 2
  • Localized cell death focuses mechanical forces during 3D patterning in a biofilm Asally M., Kittisopikul M., Rué P., Du Y., Hu Z., Çağatay T., Robinson A.B., Lu H., Garcia-Ojalvo J., and Süel G.M. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., (2012), vol 109, num 46
  • Identification of F-actin as a dynamic hub in a microbial-induced GTPase polarity circuit Orchard RC, Kittisopikul M, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF, Süel GM, Alto NL. Cell (2012), vol 148, num 4
  • Architecture-dependent noise discriminates functionally analogous differentiation circuits Çağatay T., Turcotte M., Elowitz M.B., Garcia-Ojalvo J. and Süel G.M. Cell (2009), vol 139, num 3


Dr. Süel received his PhD in Molecular Biophysics from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in the laboratory of Dr. Rama Ranganathan and conducted his postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr Michael Elowitz in the Department of Biology and Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology.

portrait placeholder