Department of Biology
Kaplan’s lab studies bacterial biofilms, which are thin, slimy layers of bacteria that grow on surfaces exposed to a liquid. Biofilms grow on rocks in streams, inside pipes, on teeth, and on implanted medical devices such as mechanical heart valves and prosthetic hip joints. Kaplan’s research is focused on identifying the bacterial surface molecules that enable bacteria to stick to surfaces, and the chemical composition of the slime that they secrete. Kaplan’s long-range goal is to use this information to develop novel methods for treating and preventing bacterial infections of humans, plants and animals.