Bridges Lab @ CMU


About Us

In the Bridges lab we use diverse approaches to study how bacteria make developmental decisions based on extracellular sensory information. Read about our research for more information. In addition, we strive to cultivate a healthy and productive scientific environment where people from all backgrounds are welcomed and supported!


Lab News

Follow this thread for the latest lab news

Gillian and Maddy graduate!

May 11, 2024:  The first class of Bridges Lab undergraduate students Gillian Croteau and Maddy Burke have officially graduated! Both recieved honors for research credit in their senior year. Gillian is off to Northeastern University to pursue her PhD and Maddy is applying to medical school. 

Gillian wins the Carnegie Mellon Sigma Xi Poster Competition!

May 2, 2024:  Graduating senior Gillian Croteau wins the poster competition at the annual Meeting of the Minds event on campus! Congrats Gillian!

PhD student Yangyang Liu join the lab!

April 22, 2024:  The Bridges Lab is delighted to welcome Yangyang Liu to the lab. Yangyang will study bacterial lysis sensing in diverse pathogens. We can’t wait to see what Yangyang will discover!

The lab is thankful to receive support from the Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation!

March 6, 2024:  The first Bridges lab manuscript it out!

Our work, entitled “Cell lysis sensing drives biofilm formation in Vibrio cholerae,” was published in Nature Communications. We find that upon exposure to lytic phages, the pathogen V. cholerae rapidly lyses, but then recovers, with surviving cells exhibiting robust biofilm formation. We find that the mechanism underlying this observation is a process we refer to as “lysis sensing”…whereby surviving cells sense a signal released by the death of their kin. We identify the cell lysis signal as an abundant cytoplasmic polyamine, norspermidine, which is detected by an inner-membrane receptor, MbaA, that in turn drives biofilm formation. We determine that additional pathogenic organisms also exhibit multicellular community formation in response to lysis. Given the pervasiveness of lysis in the environment, we propose that lysis sensing is a threat-agnostic mechanism by which bacteria can gauge endangerment.​

Feb 11, 2024:  Irina hits the big time on CMU’s Instagram. Happy International Women and Girls in Science day!

Sandhya and Emmy pass their qualifying exams!

Feb 7, 2024:  Bridges Lab second year graduate students Sandhya Kasivisweswaran and Emmy Nguyen passed their preliminary exams with flying colors. Congratulations on achieving PhD candidacy!

Drew’s mSphere of Influence commentary about biogeography is published.

Check out a recent story about our lab by the MCS media team!

Graduate students Sandhya and Emmy join the lab!

May 1, 2023:  The Bridges Lab is delighted to welcome graduate students Sandhya Kasivisweswaran and Emmy Nguyen, who will study signaling mechanisms that regulate Vibrio cholerae biofilms. It will be an adventure!

Robert van de Weerd joins

Nov 1, 2022:  The latest member to join the group is Robert van de Weerd, originally from the Netherlands. Robert’s interests include biotechnology development and molecular pathogenesis.

Irina Mikheyeva joins the lab

Oct 1, 2022:  The newest member of the lab is Irina Mikheyeva. Irina’s interests include molecular pathogenesis, signal transduction, as well as hiking and biking.

Sept 23, 2022:  Drew is named a 2022 Blavatnik Regional Award Finalist for his postdoctoral research on Vibrio cholerae biofilm dispersal.

Jojo Prentice joins the lab

The first lab member (other than Drew) has joined the lab! Jojo recently completed his undergraduate degree at Princeton University in the Department of Molecular Biology.

Bridges Lab opens!

Sept 1, 2022:  The Bridges lab has officially opened at CMU in the Department of Biological Sciences.