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Shiladitya Banerjee - Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA, US

Shiladitya Banerjee

Assistant Professor | Carnegie Mellon University


Shiladitya Banerjee develops theoretical models to understand how the internal structures of a living cell impacts its characteristics.


Shiladitya Banerjee develops theoretical models to understand how the internal structures and machineries of a living cell impacts its shape, physical properties and ability to communicate with other cells. His previous work showed that the mechanical form, function and regulatory biochemistry in living matter relate to that matter’s collective decision-making strategies. He found that the interplay between protein synthesis and cell mechanics regulates cell shape, division timing and survival in stressed conditions. His recent work demonstrates how certain types of bacteria can adapt to long-term exposure to antibiotics by changing their shape.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Single-cell Biophysics

Soft Living Matter


Physics of Living Systems

Molecular and Cell Biology

Media Appearances (2)

Some bacteria grow resilient to antibiotics by changing shapes: Study

Hindustan Times  online


This new research led by Carnegie Mellon University's Assistant Professor of Physics Shiladitya Banerjee suggests that while antibiotics have long helped people prevent and cure bacterial infections, many species of bacteria have increasingly been able to adapt to resist antibiotic treatments.

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Bacteria Have Been Seen Literally Changing Shape to Avoid Antibiotics

ScienceAlert  online


"Using single-cell experiments and theoretical modelling, we demonstrate that cell shape changes act as a feedback strategy to make bacteria more adaptive to surviving antibiotics," says first author and Carnegie Mellon University biophysicist Shiladitya Banerjee.

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Cell Migration Seminars #47: Shiladitya Banerjee Physics of living and evolving matter - Shiladitya Banerjee Shiladitya Banerjee: Morphology, growth and resource optimization in bacterial cells



Industry Expertise (2)



Accomplishments (5)

Young Investigator Award (professional)

2018 Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP)

New Investigator Award (professional)

2018 UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Royal Society University Research Fellowship (professional)


Kharasch Postdoc Award (professional)

2016 Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago

UCL Global Engagement Award (professional)


Education (2)

Syracuse University: Ph.D., Physics 2013

Chennai Mathmatical Institute: B.Sc. (Honors), Physics 2008

Affiliations (1)

  • Scientific Reports : Editorial Board

Event Appearances (1)

Quantitative Approaches to Antimicrobial Resistance

IOP conference, Physics of Life Network  Edinburgh, UK

Articles (5)

Dynamic proteome trade-offs regulate bacterial cell size and growth in fluctuating nutrient environments

Communications Biology

2023 Bacteria dynamically regulate cell size and growth to thrive in changing environments. While previous studies have characterized bacterial growth physiology at steady-state, a quantitative understanding of bacterial physiology in time-varying environments is lacking. Here we develop a quantitative theory connecting bacterial growth and division rates to proteome allocation in time-varying nutrient environments. In such environments, cell size and growth are regulated by trade-offs between prioritization of biomass accumulation or division, resulting in decoupling of single-cell growth rate from population growth rate.

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Super-exponential growth and stochastic size dynamics in rod-like bacteria

Biophysical Journal

2023 Proliferating bacterial cells exhibit stochastic growth and size dynamics, but the regulation of noise in bacterial growth and morphogenesis remains poorly understood. A quantitative understanding of morphogenetic noise control, and how it changes under different growth conditions, would provide better insights into cell-to-cell variability and intergenerational fluctuations in cell physiology.

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Membrane tension induces F-actin reorganization and flow in a biomimetic model cortex

Communications Biology

2023 The accumulation and transmission of mechanical stresses in the cell cortex and membrane determines the mechanics of cell shape and coordinates essential physical behaviors, from cell polarization to cell migration. However, the extent that the membrane and cytoskeleton each contribute to the transmission of mechanical stresses to coordinate diverse behaviors is unclear. Here, we reconstitute a minimal model of the actomyosin cortex within liposomes that adheres, spreads and ultimately ruptures on a surface.

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Cellular resource allocation strategies for cell size and shape control in bacteria

The FEBS Journal

2021 Bacteria are highly adaptive microorganisms that thrive in a wide range of growth conditions via changes in cell morphologies and macromolecular composition. How bacterial morphologies are regulated in diverse environmental conditions is a long-standing question. Regulation of cell size and shape implies control mechanisms that couple the growth and division of bacteria to their cellular environment and macromolecular composition. In the past decade, simple quantitative laws have emerged that connect cell growth to proteomic composition and the nutrient availability.

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Catalytic growth in a shared enzyme pool ensures robust control of centrosome size


2023 Accurate regulation of centrosome size is essential for ensuring error-free cell division, and dysregulation of centrosome size has been linked to various pathologies, including developmental defects and cancer. While previous studies have mostly focused on investigating the growth dynamics of individual centrosomes, how a pair of centrosomes achieves equal size prior to cell division remains an open question. Here, we challenge the existing theory that centrosome growth is autocatalytic, as this model fails to explain the attainment of equal centrosome sizes.

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