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Oct. 11: Scholar in the Library

Graphic by Sean Diffendall

Microbiologist to discuss his research and $1 million grant

Thomas Hanson, microbiologist and professor of marine bioscience at the University of Delaware, will lead “Unlocking the Black Box of Microbial Epigenetics” from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Class of 1941 Lecture Room in Morris Library.

Hanson will discuss his research and speak about the $1 million W.M. Keck Foundation grant his team recently won. Along with Hanson, the team includes the grant’s principal investigator Jennifer Biddle and Adam Marsh, also faculty members in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

The W.M. Keck foundation supports pioneering efforts in science, engineering and medical research. Hanson, Biddle and Marsh are focusing on microbial research.

Microbes harvest energy and materials from their environment to reproduce. In the course of acquiring energy and materials, microbes catalyze lots of chemical transformations. With the grant, the team is working to understand what microbes do when the energy and materials are scarce.

Since microbes are among the most abundant forms of biomass on the planet, these chemical transformations have global significance. Just think, half of the oxygen you breathe is produced by marine microbes. Better understanding how microbes control gene expression under conditions of scarcity may enable advances in medicine, industry and environmental science.

Hanson received his bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his doctorate in microbiology from the University of California Davis. He was a postdoctoral fellow in microbiology at Ohio State University.

This brown-bag luncheon program, which is free and open to the public, is part of the University of Delaware Library Assembly of Professional Staff (UDLAPS) “Scholar in the Library” series, held the second Wednesday of the month.

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