Bruce R. Levin
Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Biology
Department of Biology
1510 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA. 30322
Phone: 404 - 727 2826
Fax: 404 - 727 2880
Kate Steiger Glass Washer Emeritus
Some recognized prejudices
'Doing research in population biology without mathematical and/or computer simulation models is like playing tennis without a net or boundary lines'.
'Data may be a crutch for the insecure, but really self-confident scientists subject their hypotheses to tests that can reject them'
'Just because a project may be useful, that doesn't mean its not interesting, high-quality and delicious to work on Science.'
'For us, natural and not-so-natural selection is about dN/dt and not dN/dS.'
Our research includes mathematical and computer simulation modeling and in vitro and laboratory animal experiments on the population and evolutionary biology of bacteria and their viruses and accessory genetic elements. In addition to investigations addressing precious academic ecological and evolutionary questions, we also do studies applying population dynamic and evolutionary theory and experiments to health-related problems. Among the latter are investigations of the epidemiology of pathogenic bacteria, antimicrobial chemotherapy and the evolution of resistance, the pharmacodynamics and pharamacokinetics of antibiotics and the within-host population and evolutionary dynamics of bacterial infections and their treatment with antibiotics.
The following is a list the projects on which we are currently (February 2013) working on or recently completed and the names of the primary investigator(s) involved in these studies. Unless otherwise noted, BRL’s role in these endeavors is more that of a producer, advisor, prodder, kibitzer, modeler, programmer, occasional, overpaid technician, editor and general busybody rather than a day-to-day collaborator. For more information about these projects, write to the first named investigator listed for that project.
Those projects in bold print have been recently published or are at the stage where we are ready to show them off = draft manuscripts describing the results of some or all elements of these projects are available. You are welcome to copies of these manuscripts. You are also welcome to information about the goals, status and major results of our other ongoing projects. Just write to Bruce or the first named investigator.
- A theoretical and experimental study of the population and evolutionary dynanics of bacteria in physically structured habitats. Bruce R. Levin in collaboration with Howie Weiss (Dept. of Mathematics, GA Tech)
- An experimental study of the contributions of the physiological state to the pharmacodynamics of antibiotics and the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus. Klas Udekwu (former Postdoc) and Bruce R. Levin.
- Immunological surveillance, senescence and the incidence and distribution of adult onset cancers: a model a review, a perspective and predictions. Bruce R. Levin, Pierre Ankomah, Ralph V. Evans and Steve Frank (UC Irvine)
- The population and evolutionary dynamics of bacteriophage and bacteria with CRISPR-mediated immunity: Mathematical models and real work, population dynamic and evolutionary experiments and molecular biology with Streptococcus thermophilus and its phage 2972, Bruce R. Levin, Mary Bushman (PhD student), in collaboration with Rodolphe Barrangou (Danisco, Madison) and Sylvain Moineau (University of Laval, Quebec)
- The population and evolutionary dynamics of conjugative plasmids and bacteria: an excursion into the downside of CRISPR-mediated immunity in Staphyloccoccus epidermidis. In collaboration with Luciano Marraffini and his students at the Rockefeller University.
- A theoretical and experimental study of the population dynamics and evolution of autolysis in Streptocccus pneumoniae - Joshua Shak (MD/PhD student)
- The evolution of mutation rates in experimental populations of E. coli. Juan Carlos Galán, Fernando Baquero and other wonderful colleagues at the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid.
- Population growth and antibiotic pharmacodynamics of bacteria growing in physically structured habitats - Xinxian (Abigail) Shao, Fawaz Arain, Ilya Nemenman, Howie Weiss and Bruce Levin
- The development of algorithms for the analysis of population growth data - Fawaz Arain
- The pharmaco- population- and evolutionary dynamics of multidrug antibiotic therapy - Pierre Ankomah, Paul Johnson and Bruce Levin
- The pharmaco- and population dynamics of sub-MIC antibiotic treatment of S. aureus - Catherine Friberg, Hanne Ingmer and Bruce Levin
Some recent publications from our Lab: For an almost complete list of our articles, click on "Publications"
- Ankomah, P, P.T.Johnson and B. R. Levin (2013) The Pharmaco –, Population and Evolutionary Dynamics of Multi-Drug Therapy Experiments with S. aureus and E. coli and Computer Simulations In Press PLoS Pathogens [PDF]
- Levin, B.R., S. Moineau, M. Bushman, R. Barrangou (2013) The population and evolutionary dynamics of phage and bacteria with CRISPR-mediated immunity. PLoS Genetics 9: 3 e1003312 [PDF]
- Johnson, P.J.T. and B.R. Levin (2013) Pharmacodynamics, population dynamics and the evolution of persistence in Staphyloccus aureus. PLoS Genetics Vol 9, Issue 1, e1003123 [PDF]
- Kirby, A.E (2013) Synergistic action of gentamicin and bacteriophage in a continuous culture population of Staphyloccus aureus. PLoS One Vol. 7, Issue 11, e51057 [PDF]
- Kirby, A.E., K. Garner and B.R. Levin (2012) The relative contributions of physical structure and cell density to the antibiotic susceptibility of bacteria in bioflims. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 56(6) 2867-2975 [PDF]
- Udekwu, K and B.R. Levin (2012) Staphylococcus aureus in continuous culture: A tool for the rational design of antibiotic treatment PLoS one Vol. 7 Issue 7m e3866 [PDF]
- Chien, Y-W, B.R. Levin and K. Klugman (2012) The anticipated severity of a "1918-like" influenza pandemic in contemporary populations: the contribution of antibacterial interventions [PDF]
- Ankomah, P and B. R. Levin (2012) Two-drug antimicrobial chemotherapy: A mathematical model and experiments with Mycobacterium marinum. Plos Pathogens 8: 1 e1002487 [PDF]
- Wei, Y. A, Kirby and B.R. Levin (2011) The population and evolutionary dynamics of Vibrio cholerae and its bacteriophage: conditions for maintining phage-limited communities Amer, Natur. 178:715-725.[PDF]
- Wei, Y, Z. Wang, J. Liu, I. Nemenman, A.H. Singh, H. Weiss and B.R. Levin (2011) The population dynamics of bacteria in physically structured habitats and the adaptive virtue of random motility. PNAS 108:4047-4052 [PDF]
- Levin, B.R. (2011) Population geneticists discover bacteria and their genetic/molecular epidemiology. IN Population Genetics of Bacteria: A Tribute to Thomas S. Whittam, S.T. Walk and P.C. Fang Editors. ASM Press [PDF]
- Haber, M. B.R. Levin and P. Kramarz (2010) Antibiotic control of antibiotic resistance in hospitals: A simulation study. BMC Infectious Diseases 10:254 [PDF]
- Levin, B.R. (2010) Nasty viruses, costly plasmids, population dynamics and the conditions for maintaining CRISPR-mediated adaptive immunity in bacteria. PLoS Genetics 10:6 E1001171 [PDF]
- Wei, Y, P. Ocampo and B. R. Levin (2010) An Experimental study of the population and evolutionary dynamics of vibrio cholerae O1 and the Bacteriophage JSF4. Proc. Royal Soc. Lond. B On Line [PDF]
- Levin, B.R. and K. Udekwu (2010) The population dynamics of antibiotic treatment: a mathematical model and hypotheses for time-Kill and continuous culture experiments. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 54(8): 3414-3426 [PDF]
- Margolis, E. A. Yates, and B.R. Levin (2010) The ecology of nasal colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus: the role of competition and interactions with host's immune response. BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:59 doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-59 [PDF]
- Cornejo OE, McGee, L. and DE Rozen (2010). Polymorphic competence peptides does not restrict recombination in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Molecular Biology and Evolution 27(3): 694-702. [PDF] [Supplementary Online Materials]
- Johnsen, P.J and B.R. Levin (2010) Adjusting to alien genes. Molecular Microbiology On Line [PDF]
- Levin, B.R. and O.E. Cornejo (2009) The population and evolutionary dynamics of homologous gene recombination in bacteria. PLoS Genetics 5 (8) e1000601 [PDF]
- Johnsen, P.J, D. Dubnau, and B. R. Levin (2009) Episodic selection and the maintenance of competence and natural transformation in Bacillus subtilis GENETICS 181: 1521-1533 [PDF]
- Udekwu, K, N. Parrish, P. Ankomah, , F. Baquero and BR Levin (2009) Functional relationship between cell density and the efficacy of antibiotics. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 63:745-767 [PDF]
- Margolis, E. (2009) Hydrogen peroxide mediated interference competition by Streptococcus pneumoniae has no significant effect on Staphylococcal nasal colonization of neonatal rats J. Bact. 191: 571-575 [PDF]
- Cornejo, O.E., D. Rozen, R.M. May and B.R. Levin (2009) Oscillations in continuous culture populations ofStreptococcus pneumoniae: Population dynamics and the evolution of clonal suicide (Proceeding Royal Society B, 276: 999-1008 [PDF] [Supplemental On Line Material]
- Handel, A, E. Margolis and B.R. Levin (2008) Exploring the role of the immune response in preventing antibiotic resistance Journal of Theoretical Biology 256:666-662 [PDF]
- Margolis, E. and B. R. Levin (2008) The evolution of bacteria-host interactions: virulence and the immune over-response. IN “Introduction to the Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens ” J-A. Gutteriez and F.M. Baquero Editors (ASM Press) [PDF] Also published in "Microbial Evoiution and Co-Adaptation: A Tribute to the Life and Scientific Legacies of Joshua Lederberg (2009) P. 137:157 ( http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12586.html) For the whole Pathogen Evolution Chapter[PDF]
- Lemonnier , M, B.R. Levin, T. Romeo, K, Garner, M-R. Baquero, J. Mercante, E. Lemichez, F. Baquero, and J. Blázquez (2008) Evolution of contact-dependent inhibition in non-growing populations of E. coli. Proc. Roy. Society B Proc. Royal Soc. B. 275:3-10[PDF] [Supplemental On Line Material]
- Margolis, E. and B.R. Levin 2007 Within–Host Evolution for the Invasiveness of Commensal Bacteria: an experimental study of bacteremias resulting from Haemophilus influenzae nasal carriage, Journal of Infectious Disease 175: 1069-1075.[PDF]
- Rozen, D. E. L.E. McGee, B.R. Levin and K. P. Klugman (2007) .The fitness costs of fluoroquinolone resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 51:412-416.[PDF]
- Meltz-Steinberg, K. and B.R. Levin (2007) Grazing protozoa and the evolution of the Escherichia coli O157:H7 Shigatoxin-encoding prophage. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Series (Biology) 274: 1921 - 1929.[PDF]
- Lipsitch, M., T. Cohen, M. Murray, B.R. Levin (2007) Antiviral resistance and the control of pandemic influenza. PLoS Med 41: e15.[PDF]
Current research support (grants):
Theoretical and experimental studies of the population and evolutionary dynamics of antibiotic treatment. National Institutes of Health 9R01GM091875-11
The population dynamics of bacteria and bacteriophage in biofilms. Proctor and Gamble