Molecular biologist to present as part of New Frontiers lecture series

Dec 3, 2014 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Engineering and Science, Research and Development

Dr. Peter Setlow, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at the University of Connecticut Health Center, will present the third installment of Louisiana Tech University’s 2014 New Frontiers in Biomedical Research series.
Dr. Peter Setlow

Dr. Peter Setlow

Setlow’s lecture titled, “When the Sleepers Awake: The Germination of Bacterial Spores,” will take place at 3:30 p.m. December 8 in University Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus. It will be a review of the field of spore germination and his recent work aimed at understanding the mechanism of germination. The event is free and open to all students, faculty and staff as well as members of the local community. The New Frontiers in Biomedical Research lecture series is a year-long, multidisciplinary program that focuses on advancements in the fields of biomedical engineering, biology, physics, and chemistry in an effort to promote understanding of human health and disease. By interacting with leaders in these research fields, the series seeks to expose Louisiana Tech students to growing areas of research and enhance Louisiana Tech’s own impacts in biomedical research. Setlow is an expert in the field of bacterial spores with a focus on both spore resistance properties and germination. His recent research has focused on germination heterogeneity by measuring germination in multiple individual spores instead of in spore populations. Setlow has received numerous awards and grants including an NIH MERIT award, a long-term funded award given to investigators with a record of superior productivity, for his work on “degradative reactions in spore germination.” When starved, Bacilli and Clostridia form a cell type called a spore. Multiple diseases from these two genera (e.g. anthrax and antibiotic-associated diarrhea) begin with internalization of a spore and can have serious outcomes if the spore transitions to a metabolically active cell through a process called germination. Spores are problematic since they are resistant to many common disinfection processes. However, once germinated they are become relatively easy to eliminate. Setlow has authored over 450 publications, edited two books and is an editor for the Journal of Applied Microbiology, Letters in Applied Microbiology and PLoS One. He is also the recipient of the first Journal of Bacteriology Editors’ Award for Service on the Journal of Bacteriology Editorial Board and is an elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. Lectures throughout the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research series are sponsored by the Lincoln Health Foundation, ADVANCEing Women in Science, Sigma Xi, Louisiana Tech’s Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science (CBERS), the College of Applied and Natural Sciences, the College of Engineering and Science, and the School of Biological Sciences. “The series started last year as a way to introduce students, faculty and the community to ongoing research in the broad area of biomedical research and its clinical potential,” said Dr. Jamie Newman, assistant professor of biological sciences and organizer of the event. “We strive to bring in leading biologists, engineers and chemists to expose Louisiana Tech students to additional areas of research and foster collaborations for our faculty. By the end of last year’s series, we were filling University Hall with faculty, students, staff, and members of the Ruston, Monroe and Shreveport communities.” For more information on the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research series and access to recordings of all of the lectures, please visit or contact Dr. Jamie Newman at or Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore at