microbial ecology and antibiotics

RGyure rgyure at aol.com
Sat Jan 28 16:07:29 EST 1995

I'm a microbial ecologist, currently teaching general micro, genetics, and
ecology at Edgewood College in Madison WI. I've been teaching for many
years, but haven't had  opportunity to do research.  The climate at the
college has changed, and we are now being encouraged to do so-- I now have
interested students, some funds, and the time to begin a project.
My interest is in natural microbial communities, and the role of
antibiotics in interspecies competition.  I feel that if we understand
microbial response to and production of antibiotic compounds more fully,
we can begin to conceive of better ecological strategies for combatting
infections in humans. 
More specifically, I would like to begin looking at various soil isolates
and observe their response to different levels of antibiotic, different
modes of application (pulsed vs. continuous), application at different
stages in the life cycle, and application in presence of other chemical
and env. factors. These expts would be done on ind. populations (cultured
in the lab), and then I'd like to move on to observing interspecies
dynamics. I also have some experience working with continuous culture.
I have assembled an extensive ref. list am am wading thru it to bring
myself back up to speed in the field, but would appreciate any help from
those of you actively working on related topics. Is this an area worth
investigating? Students are very interested, and this seems like a project
that can be done given the resource limitations we have at our college. I
have a feeling that such inquiries would soon head toward a molecular
approach, and I do have training in the techniques of molecular genetics
and biochemistry. I have also worked extensively with radioisotopes, and
that would be possible for us too.
In particular-- I am wondering about safety restrictions and regulations
for working with antibiotic resistance in the laboratorty. Our facilities
are not modern (we are currently building a new science complex). I don't
want to do anything that would be risky to students, myself or
environment. Other than taking standard precautions like autoclaving all
wastes-- are there other restrictions I should be aware of?
Thanks out there! Respond to Rgyure @aol.com    or    gyure at edgewood.edu

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