Headshot portrait of Xiaofan Jin - Bio-X Bowes Fellow
Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2014
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Ingmar Riedel-Kruse (Bioengineering) and Alfred Spormann (Civil & Environmental Engineering)

Research Title: Patterning bacterial communities to investigate microbial interactions

Research Description: Bacteria are typically considered single-celled organisms, but the majority of terrestrial bacteria actually live in complex surface-attached communities known as biofilms. Within biofilms, one can find intricate spatial structures consisting of multiple microbial sub-populations. Such spatial organization is required for bacterial communities to achieve cooperative behaviors such as metabolic division-of-labor. Using optogenetic tools from synthetic biology, Xiaofan proposes to build a biofilm platform that can generate spatially patterned microbial communities. This can be used to study how biofilms are seeded and to engineer synthetic microbial consortia capable of complex tasks such as biosynthesis.


Xiaofan is a postdoc in Dr. Katie Pollard’s lab at the Gladstone Institute at the University of California, San Francisco.