CEMS graduate student Shashank Kamdar wins APS travel grant

Shashank Kamdar, a 5th year chemical engineering PhD candidate advised by CEMS Professor Xiang Cheng and Lorraine F. Francis, has been awarded a travel grant from the American Physical Society’s (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) to support his participation in the 2021 APS DFD Meeting at Phoenix.
Kamdar was selected for the DFD Travel Award for research on “Bacterial Olympics: swimming speed is independent of body size” describing the fascinating correlation between bacterial swimming speeds and their body sizes. For human swimming in fluids, size typically matters, and hence the Olympic podiums are typically occupied by taller athletes. Here, through experiments on microscopic bacteria using confocal microscopy authors find that the speed of bacteria is constant, irrespective of their body size. In this collaborative research, Kamdar and other UMN researchers demonstrate the relation between the bacterial cell body and flagellar confirmation, which is not accounted for in the existing theoretical framework of bacterial motility. This work provides new insights for bacterial motility relevant to a wide range of biological and biomedical processes.