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T Bharat

Tanmay Bharat, PhD

Programme Leader
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
Vallee Scholar 2018

Most prokaryotes including bacteria and archaea form macroscopic, surface-attached, multi-cellular communities known as biofilms. Biofilms constitute the majority of bacterial biomass on earth, representing a fundamental mode of prokaryotic existence. While biofilms may prove beneficial to eukaryotes as host-associated microbiomes, the formation of pathogenic bacterial biofilms is associated with the establishment of serious chronic antibiotic-tolerant infections. Tanmay Bharat’s laboratory uses electron tomography, coupled with a variety of structural and cell biology methods to study how molecules on the surface of bacterial cells mediate bacterial biofilm formation. Correlated light and electron microscopy (CLEM) and mass spectrometry (MS) are used to support in situ investigations of biofilms. To study this complex problem, in vitro reconstitution of key molecules is combined with in vivo imaging to understand how pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa form biofilms. Mechanistic insights from the laboratory are utilised to develop strategies for therapeutic intervention against bacterial infections.

Tanmay Bharat is a Programme Leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. He was previously a Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford. Before starting his laboratory, he was a postdoctoral fellow with Jan Löwe in Cambridge and trained with John AG Briggs as a graduate student at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. He is also a recipient of the Bayer Pharmaceuticals Award (GBM, Germany), EMBO long-term fellowship, FEBS long-term fellowship, EMBO advanced fellowship and the Rhodes Scholarship. Recently Tanmay’s research on prokaryotic surface layers and biofilms has been recognized with the 2019 EMBL John Kendrew Award, the 2020 Philip Leverhulme Prize for Biological Sciences, 2021 Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators, and the 2021 Lister Prize. His pioneering research has also been awarded with the 2022 Colworth Medal from the Biochemical Society.


Bharat Lab