Byron Vickers, a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the founders of the DNA microorganism database, which he created to help scientists study microorganisms that can live in the lab.
Vickers and his team have developed a method for determining which microorganisms live on different surfaces and to identify those that can survive in different environments.
The team is currently working on a tool to help researchers better understand the properties of microorganisms in the future.
Vicks said the research has given them a unique opportunity to work with diverse types of bacteria, which are not common in the laboratory.
Microorganisms, for example, have been difficult to identify in nature, but they are important for studying disease in the clinic.
“If you’re going to do clinical microbiology, you need to know how bacteria interact with the body,” Vickers said.
“I think that’s a very good opportunity for microorganisms to be studied in the context of clinical microbiologists.”
Vickers was awarded the 2017 James L. Giddings Prize in Molecular Microbiology for his research.
The paper, “Microorganisms on the Microbial Barrier: A Novel Approach to Understanding their Microbial Properties,” was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.