Bacteria Are Talking, And This Superbug Scientist Is Listening

May 14, 2019

Nadja Cech is studying how bacteria communicate in an effort to interrupt them before they can have deleterious effects on our health. Finding a way to do so could allow less use of antibiotics, and slow the progression of drug-resistant strains.
Credit UNCG Chemistry

Nadja Cech grew up in a hippy community in Oregon, spending her days building fairy houses in the woods and drawing and collecting plants. So after she became a scientist— and an associate professor of chemistry at just 23 years old — it made sense to her to look to nature for some of our most pressing medical needs. 

Now a professor at UNC Greensboro, Cech runs a lab that investigates how bacteria communicate with each other, and how scientists can harness naturally occurring compounds to disrupt their harmful messages.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Nadja Cech, Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the UNCG, about her work, her unconventional upbringing and how it shapes her ideas about solving health problems.