Our research focuses on how living systems accurately duplicate and process their genetic information by regulating the central dogma processes of replication, transcription, and translation. Conserved from bacteria to humans, the central dogma lies at the heart of all cellular activities and its regulation is essential for survival and genome stability. We study the regulation of central dogma processes in bacterial species, notably the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis and the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli.
These organisms have simpler replication and transcription mechanisms than eukaryotes and are highly amenable to genetic manipulation. We take a global approach by combining genetic, genomic, biochemical, and computational methods to uncover essential, previously unknown aspects of central dogma regulation. Our primary areas of focus include identifying a molecular interface between the DNA replication machinery and its cellular milieu, understanding the conflicts between replication and transcription, and discovering how evolutionarily divergent bacteria utilize a ubiquitous molecule for stress resistance. Because the fundamentals of information processing mechanisms are conserved across all domains of life, our work in bacteria is broadly applicable to other, less tractable, systems.
Phone & Email
Office: (608) 263-0307
Lab: (608) 263-1072