Knut Drescher

Department of Molecular Biology
& Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Office     LTL 343b (MolBio)
Tel          +1 (609) 613-3810
Email     knutd "at"

  • 02/2011 -
  • 11/2010 - 02/2011
  • 09/2007 - 11/2010
  • 10/2003 - 09/2007
postdoc, Princeton University
postdoc, University of Cambridge
Ph.D., University of Cambridge
undergraduate, University of Oxford

Publications [Google Scholar profile]

Filaments in curved streamlines: Rapid formation of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm streamers
M.K. Kim, K. Drescher, O.S. Pak, B.L. Bassler, H.A. Stone
New Journal of Physics in press (2014). [link]

Solutions to the public goods dilemma in bacterial biofilms
K. Drescher, C.D. Nadell, H.A. Stone, N.S. Wingreen, B.L. Bassler
Current Biology 24, 50-55 (2014). [link]
  -- see perspective by MS Datta & J Gore in Curr. Biol. [link]
  -- see highlight in Nature [link]
  -- see feature at National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIGMS) [link]
  -- see news story at Princeton [link]

A quorum-sensing inhibitor blocks Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence and biofilm formation
C.T. O'Loughlin, L.C. Miller, A. Siryaporn, K. Drescher, M.F. Semmelhack, B.L. Bassler
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, 17981-17986 (2013). [link]
  -- see highlight in Nature Rev. Microbiol. by C. Tobin Kahrstrom [link]

Biofilm streamers cause catastrophic disruption of flow with consequences for environmental and medical systems
K. Drescher, Y. Shen, B.L. Bassler, H.A. Stone
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, 4345-4350 (2013). [link]
  -- see highlight in PNAS [link
  -- see highlight by the NIH [link] and National Institute of General Medical Sciences [link]
  -- see highlight by the NSF [link]

Fluid dynamics of bacterial turbulence
J. Dunkel, S. Heidenreich, K. Drescher, H.H. Wensink, M. Bär, R.E. Goldstein
Physical Review Letters 110, 228102 (2013). [link]
  -- see viewpoint by I. Aranson in Physics [link]

Cutting through the complexity of cell collectives
C.D. Nadell, V. Bucci, K. Drescher, S.A. Levin, B.L. Bassler, J.B. Xavier
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280, 20122770 (2013). [link]

Swimming like algae: biomimetic soft artificial cilia
S. Sareh, J. Rossiter, A. Conn, K. Drescher, R.E. Goldstein
Journal of the Royal Society Interface 10, 20120666 (2013). [link]

Meso-scale turbulence in living fluids
H.H. Wensink, J. Dunkel, S. Heidenreich, K. Drescher, R.E. Goldstein, H. Löwen, J.M. Yeomans 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, 14308-14313 (2012). [link]
  -- see highlight by E. Frey in Physik Journal [pdf]

Fluid dynamics and noise in bacterial cell-cell and cell-surface interactions
K. Drescher, J. Dunkel, L.H. Cisneros, S. Ganguly, R.E. Goldstein 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, 10940-10945 (2011). [link] [pdf] [video]

The flagellar photoresponse in Volvox species
C.A. Solari, K. Drescher, R.E. Goldstein 
Journal of Phycology 47, 580-583 (2011). [pdf] [link]

Direct measurement of the flow field around swimming microorganisms
K. Drescher, R.E. Goldstein, N. Michel, M. Polin, I. Tuval 
Physical Review Letters 105, 168101 (2010). [pdf] [arxiv][videos: ChlamyVolvox]
  -- see viewpoint by D. Saintillan in Physics [pdf
  -- see commentaries in Physics World [link], Physics Today [link

Flagellar phenotypic plasticity in volvocalean algae correlates with Péclet number
C.A. Solari, K. Drescher, S. Ganguly, J.O. Kessler, R.E. Michod, R.E. Goldstein 
Journal of the Royal Society Interface 8, 1409-1417 (2011). [pdf]

Fidelity of adaptive phototaxis
K. Drescher, R.E. Goldstein, I. Tuval 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, 11171-11176 (2010). [pdf] [link
  -- see highlight in PNAS [pdf
  -- see summary on HFSP website[link]

Chlamydomonas swims with two 'gears' in a eukaryotic version of run-and-tumble locomotion
M. Polin, I. Tuval, K. Drescher, J.P. Gollub, R.E. Goldstein  
Science 325, 487-490 (2009). [pdf] [supporting material: pdf] [video summary]
  -- see viewpoint in Science by R. Stocker and W. Durham [pdf]
  -- see summary on HFSP website[link]

Dancing Volvox: Hydrodynamic bound states of swimming algae
K. Drescher, K.C. Leptos, I. Tuval, T. Ishikawa, T.J. Pedley, R.E. Goldstein
Physical Review Letters 102, 168101 (2009). [pdf] [arxiv] [videos: 12] [PRL coverwaltzing]
  -- see viewpoint by H. Stark in Physik Journal [pdf
  -- see highlights in Nature[pdf], New ScientistlinkScience Nowlink, Science NewslinkPhysics World[link
  -- see news items by WissenschaftlinkSmithsonianlink, BBSRClink, Times of Indialink (!), etc.

How to track protists in three dimensions
K. Drescher, K.C. Leptos, R.E. Goldstein
Review of Scientific Instruments 80, 014301 (2009). [pdf] [arxiv]

Comparison of hypercapnia-based calibration techniques for measurement of cerebral oxygen metabolism with MRI
D.P. Bulte, K. Drescher, P. Jezzard
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 61, 391-398 (2009). [pdf]


Last modified:  15 Jan 2014

Video describing our work on bacterial biofilms in environments that mimic natural habitats:
(Video directed by Zach Donnell)

News article at Physics World about work on biofilm streamers: link.

Video of flow generated by a single swimming bacterium (E. coli). The flow field is so small that its effects are mostly drowned by diffusion.

How do multicellular organisms without a central nervous system of communication between the individual cells coordinate organism-level behaviors? This video, based on a mathematical model, shows that the spherical alga Volvox carteri can turn towards the light by endowing each cell on its surface with a common, fine-tuned response to light. The response magnitude is color-coded.

Video of dancing microorganisms: These bound states are due to hydrodynamic interactions between swimming Volvox carteri.