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Uncovering the Secret Lives of Single-cells in Growing Bacterial Communities

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 521, Wyss Institute, 3 Blackfan Circle 5th floor, Boston, MA 02115



  • Elias Manolakos, Ph.D.
  • Visiting Scholar, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
  • Associate Professor of Signal Processing Systems, University of Athens




Bacterial cells live colorful social lives! They constantly change shape,  push each other away, cooperate, sacrifice! We will present a  fully automated pipeline of advanced image analysis and machine learning algorithms  that segment single-cells  in time lapse microscopy  "movies", compute their phenotypical and expression characteristics, track them accurately as daughter cells emerge, and construct lineage trees as colonies  grow and merge to thousands of bacteria in the field of view. Coupled with single-cell informatics, this zooming-in capability paves the way for  applying  "big data" science, visual  analytics and predictive modeling to decipher the complex dynamics and stochasticity in community response to different stressors or engineered interventions. Moreover, it provides a powerful tool towards developing high throughput biomimetic approaches for food safety,  biomaterials design and systems/synthetic biology workflows.

Elias S. Manolakos, Visiting Scholar is an Associate Professor of Signal Processing Systems at University of Athens, Dept. of Informatics and Telecommunications, where he directs the Multidisciplinary Graduate Program "Information Technologies in Medicine and Biology". Before returning to Europe he was with the ECE Dept. of Northeastern University, Boston where he has directed the CDSP Research Center, promoting industry-academia collaborations in the Boston area. His research interests include signal/image analysis, machine learning, high performance embedded computing, and their applications in computational systems biology, biological systems modeling and stochastic simulation. In 2013, he received an "Excellence" Award, the highest distinction a PI may receive in Greece. His research has attracted substantial support from US and EU funding agencies. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Engineering from University of Southern California, MSEE degree from University of Michigan, Anna Arbor, and Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. Prof Manolakos is a Senior Member of the IEEE.




  • Daniel Levner, M.S., Ph.D.
  • Senior Staff Scientist, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University




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