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Microbiology and Infectious Disease

Microbes rule our world. Faculty in BMB study bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic parasites, and investigate how these organisms impact everything from the environment to human health.


Paul Babitzke

  • Regulation of gene expression by RNA structure and RNA-binding proteins

Squire Booker

  • Elucidating the chemical mechanisms by which enzymes containing iron-sulfur clusters catalyze chemical reactions.

Donald Bryant

  • Genomics, structural and functional relationships, metabolism, physiology and ecology of chlorophototrophic bacteria.

Susan Hafenstein

  • A structural approach to learn more about viral infectivity, tropism, evolution and pathogenicity

Joyce Jose

  • The understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the replication and assembly of flaviviruses and alphaviruses.

Kenneth Keiler

  • Protein quality control, ribosome rescue, and new antibiotics.

Scott Lindner

  • The coupling of molecular parasitology and structural biology to study the malaria parasite.

Manuel Llinás

  • The combination of tools from functional genomics, molecular biology, computational biology, biochemistry, and metabolomics to understand the fundamental molecular mechanisms underlying the development of this parasite.

Timothy Miyashiro

  • We use microbial genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology approaches to determine the molecular mechanisms that enable bacteria to establish symbiosis with a eukaryotic host.  The model system is the symbiosis formed between the bioluminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri and the Hawaiian bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes.  Our primary interests in this system include quorum sensing, contact-dependent killing mechanisms, and sulfur metabolism.

Timothy Meredith

  • Bacterial cell envelope biosynthesis

Katsuhiko Murakami

  • We apply cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography techniques to reveal three-dimensional structures of DNA and RNA polymerases for elucidating the mechanisms of DNA replication and RNA transcription.

Tracy Nixon

Andrew Patterson

  • Understanding the host-metabolite-microbiota communication network‚ specifically how the manipulation of gut microbiota by diet and/or xenobiotics impacts host metabolites (e.g., bile acids, short chain fatty acids), their metabolism, and how these co-metabolites interact with host ligand-activated transcription factors.

Robert Paulson

  • The mechanism of tissue regeneration using the response to anemia as a model system.

Kathleen Postle

  • We use molecular biology approaches to study the intriguing TonB system in E. coli, a virulence factor for Gram-negative pathogens that uses energy from the inner membrane for active transport across the outer membrane.

Moriah Szpara

  • Understanding the consequences of HSV latency for the neurons that harbor the HSV pathogen and the search for improved therapeutics using a combination of virology, neurobiology, next generation sequencing technologies, and bioinformatics.

Emily Weinert

  • The understanding of how the globin coupled sensor protein family senses oxygen and transmits the binding signal into downstream events.