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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.

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Select Publications

  • A segmentation clock patterns cellular differentiation in a bacterial biofilm
    Chou K.T., Lee D.D., Chiou J.G., Galera-Laporta L., Ly S., Garcia-Ojalvo J., Süel G.M.
    Cell, (2022) Volume 185, Issue 1
  • Magnesium Flux Modulates Ribosomes to Increase Bacterial Survival
    Lee DD, Galera-Laporta L, Bialecka-Fornal M, Moon EC, Shen Z, Briggs SP, Garcia-Ojalvo J, and Süel GM
    Cell, (2019) Volume 177, Issue 2
  • Coupling between distant biofilms and emergence of nutrient time-sharing
    Liu J, Martinez-Corral R, Prindle A, Lee DD, Larkin J, Gabalda-Sagarra M, Garcia-Ojalvo J and Süel GM
    Science, (2017) Volume 356, Issue 6338
  • 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


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.

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