For his creative work in evolutionary systems biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology assistant professor Jeff Gore, Ph.D., is The Pew Charitable Trusts’ biomedical researcher of the month. Gore is studying how game theory can be applied to bacterial evolution, with the goal of understanding how pathogens become resistant to drugs.
Inspired by Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, Gore is interested in the “game moves” employed by bacterial systems, including genetic mutations, that allow them to resist antibacterial agents. In his research, he has observed cooperation among bacteria, as well as “cheaters”—bacteria that benefit from their brethen’s innovation of resistance even though they don’t have the necessary mutation themselves.
Gore’s story is the latest in Pew’s biomedical researcher of the month series. Since 1985, Pew’s biomedical programs have provided funding to more than 500 early-career investigators who show outstanding promise in science with the potential to advance human health. The scholars’ exceptional research has earned them Nobel Prizes, Lasker Awards, MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants and other distinctions—including a Paul Allen Distinguished Investigators Award for Gore.
to read Gore’s profile.