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Elizabeth Anne Shank PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUMass Chan Medical School
DepartmentSystems Biology
AddressUMass Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester MA 01655
Phone774-455-6624
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentMicrobiology and Physiological Systems

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentProgram in Microbial Dynamics

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentSystems Biology

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentBioinformatics and Computational Biology

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentImmunology and Microbiology Program

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentInterdisciplinary Graduate Program

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentMD/PhD Program


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Pennsylvania State University, College Park, PA, United StatesBS
    University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United StatesPHD

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview

    The Shank laboratory studies the chemical and physical interactions of microbes with each other and their hosts




    Microbes live everywhere, and their activities can have profound impacts on their hosts as well as on ecosystem-level processes. How microbes interact within these communities, however, remains largely unknown. We are fascinated by the idea that microbes are able to generate and secrete chemical cues (known as specialized or secondary metabolites) that can act as interspecies signals to influence the physiology and metabolism of their microbial neighbors, and thus contribute to the stability and functioning of complex microbial communities.

    Our research dissects these microbial interactions using traditional microbiology, fluorescent co-culture, bioinformatics, mass spectrometry imaging, and native-like microcosms. We aim to define the molecular basis of how microbial specialized metabolites impact bacterial cellular differentiation, discover chemical tools to kill and modulate pathogens, and dynamically visualize microbial interactions at the single-cell level. In doing so, we are gaining insights into microbial ecology. We are also identifying novel bioactive compounds as potential therapeutics and chemical tools to achieve our long-term goal of manipulating microbial communities to improve host health and the environment.

    You can find a list of our published article here:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/elizabeth.shank.1/bibliography/public/


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