Sam Brown is an evolutionary biologist by training, with a passion for microbes. The Brown lab is interested in unpicking the social lives of bacteria, and how these social lives in pathogens impact human infectious disease. Specific questions include asking what factors protect cooperative populations of bacteria from exploitation by cheats? What language are communicating bacteria speaking? What are the determinants of community stability? For each of these basic questions, the Brown lab asks how bacterial social interactions shape disease traits (virulence, transmission, emergence, drug resistance) and also present new opportunities for control. The lab pursues these questions with a mix of theory and experiment, evolutionary biology and molecular microbiology – profiting from our fantastic colleagues in the GT Center for Microbial Dynamics and Infection.