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Swapna Bhat, Ph.D.

Swapna Bhat
Title: Associate Professor
Phone: 678-717-3773

Office: Science, Engineering, Tech, 123, Gainesville
Areas of Expertise: Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Bacteria Physiology and Genetics

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 1101/L  Introductory Biology: A Human Perspective/Lab
  • BIOL 2500/L  Microbiology for Allied Health Professions/Lab


  • Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Georgia, 2011
  • M.S., Microbiology, Maharaja Sayajirao, University, Baroda, India, 2004
  • B.S., Biotechnology, Sardar Patel University, India, 2002

Research/Special Interests

Dr. Bhat's research interest is focused on understanding intricacies of a complex bacterial system, Myxococcus xanthus, which require a multidisciplinary approach. M. xanthus is a Gram-negative bacterium. It is a wonderful prokaryotic system to understand multicellular development. During vegetative stage, M. xanthus cells swarm together while feeding on other bacteria. Upon starvation, M. xanthus cells aggregate to form fruiting bodies. Inside a fruiting body, rod-shaped cells undergo cellular morphogenesis to form spherical myxospores. M. xanthus fruiting body development is governed by cell-cell signaling. The identities and roles of many of these signals remain unknown. As part of Dr. Bhat's Ph.D. thesis and post-doctoral research, Dr. Bhat's projects involved understanding cellular signaling during fruiting body development.


S. Bhat, Dauth C, Bode HB, and Shimkets, LJ. mBio. 2014. 5: e00939. Two lipid signals guide fruiting body development in Myxococcus xanthus.

S. Bhat, Zhu, X, Orlando, R, Patel, PR and L. J. Shimkets. PLoS One. 2011. 6:e27475. Bioinformatic and LC-MS/MS analysis of outer membrane proteins in Myxococcus xanthus.

S. Bhat, and L. J. Shimkets. 2009. Cell Morphology; Chemical Composition: Development, Prokaryotic: Variety and Versatility, in The Encyclopedia of Microbiology, 3rd Edition, edited by Moselio Schaechter, Elsevier.

Work Experience

  • Postdoctoral fellow, University of Georgia, 2011-2013

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