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Carol Baker

Associate Research Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Bryant Lab)
Carol Baker
The Bryant Lab

About Me

In 2019, I completed 35 years working at Penn State. Most of those years were in research labs in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I have worked in 9 different laboratories. My research has involved microbial physiology of histidine utilization in Pseudomonas, molecular biology of post-transcriptional regulation by RNA binding proteins in E. coli and Bacillus, biochemistry of membrane changes during spermatogenesis in bulls, and various techniques to determine the effects of microgravity on gene expression in Pseudomonas

For the past 8 years, my work has involved the molecular biological engineering of photosynthetic reaction centers of cyanobacteria to enhance and manipulate the energy flow obtained from light. My current research continues on this topic and is conducted in the laboratories of Dr. Don Bryant and Dr. John Golbeck.


Departmental or University Committees

  • Research and Teaching Professor Faculty Development Committee September, 2001-June, 2004.
  • Member, Eberly College of Science’s Climate and Diversity Committee. September, 2002-June, 2005.
  • Member, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department’s Climate and Diversity Committee.


Research Summary

My research involves molecular biological engineering of photosynthetic reaction centers of bacteria to enhance and manipulate the energy flow obtained from light.


Selected Publications

  • William W. Wilfinger, Carol S. Baker, Elaine L. Kunze, Allen T. Phillips, and Roy H. Hammerstedt. (1996) Versatile fluid mixing device for cell and tissue microgravity research applications.  Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets 33:126-130.
  • Baker, Dale E., Carol S. Baker, and Kenneth S. Sajwan.  (1999) Evaluation of coal combustion products as components in disturbed land reclamation by the Baker Soil Test.  Book Chapter: In K. S. Sajwan, A. K. Alva, and R. F. Keefer (ed.), Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements in Coal and Coal Combustion Byproducts.  Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York. p. 145-166.   
  • Baker, Carol S., Igor Morozov, Kazushi Suzuki, Tony Romeo, and Paul Babitzke. (2002) CsrA regulates glycogen biosynthesis by preventing translation of glgC in Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol. 44:1599-610.
  • Weilbacher, Thomas, Kazushi Suzuki, Ashok K. Dubey, Xin Wang, Seshigirao Gudapaty, Igor Morozov, Carol S. Baker, Dimitris Georgellis, Paul Babitzke, and Tony Romeo. (2003) A novel sRNA component of the carbon storage regulatory system of Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol. 48:657-70.
  • Dubey, Ashok K., Carol S. Baker, Kazushi Suzuki, A. Daniel Jones, Pallavi Pandit, Tony Romeo, and Paul Babitzke. (2003) CsrA regulates translation of the Escherichia coli carbon starvation gene, cstA, by blocking ribosome access to the cstA transcript. J. Bacteriol. 185:4450-4460. 
  • Xin Wang, Ashok K. Dubey, Kazushi Suzuki, Carol S. Baker, Paul Babitzke, Tony Romeo. (2005) CsrA post-transcriptionally represses pgaABCD, responsible for synthesis of a biofilm polysaccharide adhesin of Escherichia coli. Molecular Microbiology 56:1648-1663.
  • Dubey, Ashok K., Carol S. Baker, Tony Romeo and Paul Babitzke. (2005)  RNA sequence and secondary structure participate in high-affinity CsrA-RNA interaction. RNA 11:1-9.
  • Yakhnin, Helen, Pallavi Pandit, Tom J. Petty, Carol S. Baker, Tony Romeo, and Paul Babitzke. (2007) CsrA of Bacillus subtilis regulates translation initiation of the gene encoding the flagellin protein (hag) by blocking ribosome binding. Mol. Microbiol. 64:1605-1620. 
  • Baker, Carol S., Lél A. Eöry, Helen Yakhnin, Jeffrey Mercante, Tony Romeo, and Paul Babitzke. (2007) CsrA inhibits translation initiation of Escherichia coli hfq by binding to a single site overlapping the Shine-Dalgarno sequence. J. Bacteriol. 189:5472-5481
  • Lapouge, Karine, Elena Sineva, Magnus Lindell, Katja Starke, Carol S. Baker, Paul Babitzke, and Dieter Haas (2007). Mechanism of  hcnA mRNA recognition in the Gac/Rsm signal transduction pathway of Pseudomonas fluorescens. Mol. Microbiol. 66:341-356.
  • Babitzke, Paul, Carol S. Baker, and Tony Romeo (2009). Regulation of translation initiation by RNA binding proteins. Annu Rev Microbiol. 63:27-44.
  • Yakhnin, Helen, Alexander V. Yakhnin, Carol S. Baker, Elena Sineva, Igor Berezin, Tony Romeo, and Paul Babitzke  (2011). Complex regulation of the global regulatory gene csrA: CsrA-mediated translational repression, transcription from five promoters by Eσ⁷⁰ and Eσ(S), and indirect transcriptional activation by CsrA. Mol Microbiol. 81:689-704.
  • Yakhnin, Helen, Carol S. Baker, Igor Berezin, Michael A. Evangelista, Alisa Rassin, Tony Romeo, and Paul Babitzke (2011). CsrA represses translation of sdiA, encoding the N-acylhomoserine-L-lactone receptor of Escherichia coli, by binding exclusively within the coding region of sdiA mRNA. J Bacteriol. 193: 6162-6170.
  • Yakhnin, Alexander V., Carol S. Baker, Christopher A. Vakulskas, Igor Berezin, Tony Romeo, and Paul Babitzke (2013). CsrA activates flhDC expression by protecting flhDC mRNA from RNase E-mediated cleavage. Mol Microbiol. 87:851-856. 
  • Gorka, Michael, Adam Perez, Carol S. Baker, Bryan Ferlez, Arthur van der Est, Donald A. Bryant, John H. Golbeck (2015). Electron transfer from the A1A and A1B sites to a tethered Pt nanoparticle requires the FeS clusters for suppression of the recombination channel. J Photochem Photobiol B. 152(Pt B):325-334.
  • Barchinger, Sarah E., Sahand Pirbadian, Christine Sambles, Carol S. Baker,  Kar M.Leung, Nigel J. Burroughs, Mohammed Y. El-Naggar, John H. Golbeck (2016) Regulation of Gene Expression in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 during Electron Acceptor Limitation and Bacterial Nanowire Formation. Appl Environ Microbiol. 15: 5428-5423.
  • Feroz, Hasin, Craig Vandervelden, Bon Ikwuagwu, Bryan Ferlez, Carol S. Baker, Daniel J. Lugar, Mariusz Grzelakowski, John H. Golbeck, Andrew L. Zydney, Manish Kumar. (2016) Concentrating membrane proteins using ultrafiltration without concentrating detergents. Biotechnol Bioeng.113:2122-2130.
  • Perez Adam A, John P. Gajewski, Bryan H. Ferlez, Marcus Ludwig, Carol S.  Baker, John H. Golbeck, Donald A. Bryant. (2017) Zn++-inducible expression platform for Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 based on the smtA promoter/operator and smtB repressor Appl Environ Microbiol. 83:e02491-16. doi:10.1128/AEM.02491-16.
  • Ratul Chowdhury, Tingwei Ren, Manish Shankla, Karl Decker, Matthew Grisewood, Jeevan Prabhakar, Carol Baker, John H Golbeck, Aleksei Aksimentiev, Manish Kumar, Costas D Maranas. (2018) PoreDesigner for tuning solute selectivity in a robust and highly permeable outer membrane pore. Nature communications 9: 3661.
  • Hasin Feroz, Bryan Ferlez, Cecile Lefoulon, Tingwei Ren, Carol S Baker, John P Gajewski, Daniel J Lugar, Sandeep B Gaudana, Peter J Butler, Jonas Hühn, Matthias Lamping, Wolfgang J Parak, Julian M Hibberd, Cheryl A Kerfeld, Nicholas Smirnoff, Michael R Blatt, John H Golbeck, Manish Kumar. (2018)  Light-Driven Chloride Transport Kinetics of Halorhodopsin Biophysical journal 115: 353-360.
  • Hasin M Feroz, Bryan Ferlez, Cecile Lefoulon, Hossein Mohammadiarani, Tingwei Rei, Carol S Baker, Peter J Butler, Jonas Hühn, Cheryl A Kerfeld, Nigel J Burroughs, Harish Vashisth, Wolfgang Parak, Mike Blatt, John Golbeck, Manish Kumar. (2018) Measuring Transport Kinetics of Light Driven Membrane Protein, Halorhodopsin Biophysical Journal 114:146a.
  • Hasin Feroz, HyeYoung Kwon, Jing Peng, Hyeonji Oh, Bryan Ferlez, Carol S Baker, John H Golbeck, Guillermo C Bazan, Andrew L Zydney, Manish Kumar. (2018) Improving extraction and post-purification concentration of membrane proteins Analyst 143:1378-1386.