January 25, 2019
Dacheng Ren, Syracuse University’s Stevenson Endowed Professor and Syracuse Biomaterials Institute Director, was interviewed on WCNY’s “Cycle of Health” program for a story about his biofilm research. Sweta Roy, a bioengineering Ph.D. student and research assistant, was also featured in the segment.
When bacteria stick together, they form a slimy, complex layer called a biofilm that adheres to surfaces inside or outside of the body. A good example is inside your mouth, which is coated with a biofilm that you can feel. Biofilms can shield harmful bacteria from antibiotics—making them up to a thousand times more resistant. This leads to chronic infections, especially in patients with implants or compromised immune systems.
Ren has been with Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science for 13 years and became a full professor in 2016. He and his team study the mechanisms of biofilm-associated resistance to antimicrobials, engineer smart surfaces and biomaterials to control microbial biofilm formation, and develop new strategies and inhibitors to kill biofilm and dormant bacterial cells more effectively.
The Stevenson Endowed Professorship was established thanks to the generous support of Life Trustee Ann M. Stevenson ’52 and the late Trustee Emeritus Milton F. Stevenson III ’53.