A/Prof Scott RICE
Deputy Research Director (Microbial Biofilms)
Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences, NTU

A/Prof. Rice’s research programme is centered on how and why bacteria form matrix encased biofilms.  The goal of such research is to define the molecular pathways that control the biofilm life-cycle, with a particular interest in those processes that regulate the switch between planktonic and biofilm growth.  Such knowledge can be used to manipulate the biofilm in a directed fashion to either encourage or discourage biofilm formation as needed.  His group works on a variety of biofilm systems, ranging from single species populations to increasingly more complex multispecies systems, which are more representative of natural biofilms.  Current projects include the continued development and investigation of a simple three species biofilm consortia, focusing on the mechanisms and consequences of microbial interactions.  He is also keenly interested in how bacteriophage may contribute to the development of biofilms, as opposed to their role as killing agents.  Predation is a primary environmental factor responsible for the killing of bacteria and A/Prof. Rice is investigating how bacteria respond to predators.  Another aspect of his research focuses on the application of nitric oxide, a bacterial signal, to control biofilm formation for medical and industrial applications.

Recent publications