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Thomas Bernhardt is interested in how bacteria grow and divide. Specifically, he wants to understand the mechanisms underlying bacterial cell wall assembly, which plays a key role in antibiotic resistance. Bernhardt and his team study a range of bacteria, including drug-resistant pathogens, by combining classic and modern genetic approaches with cell imaging and biochemical analysis. Through their work, they have discovered and characterized a previously unknown family of enzymes integral to cell wall synthesis. The team’s findings are advancing our understanding of bacterial cell wall biogenesis and revealing new avenues for treatments that are effective against resistant organisms.