Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Professors Douglas Lauffenburger and Peter Dedon have been named director and associate director, respectively, of MIT's Biological Engineering Division.
The appointments, effective July 1, were announced by Thomas Magnanti, dean of the School of Engineering.
In a letter to faculty and staff, Magnanti wrote: "Doug's research and teaching focuses on cell, tissue and biomolecular engineering and computational modeling of biological and physiological systems. Pete's focuses on chemical, biological and physical mechanisms of endogenous DNA damage and other aspects of toxicology.
"With this combined expertise, they are well positioned to represent the full spectrum of activities in the division."
The Biological Engineering Division, which fuses biology and engineering at MIT, was formed five years ago with Lauffenberger and Professor Steven Tannenbaum as co-directors. While Lauffenburger continues his work as director of the division, Tannenbaum will now play a leadership role in administering the research program of the Cambridge-MIT Institute.
In making the announcement, Magnanti thanked Tannenbaum for his essential contributions to the formation of the Biological Engineering Division. "It is hard to imagine where we would be today without his leadership in establishing the division," wrote Magnanti.