Our group investigates the molecular basis of environmental adaptation in bacteria that inhabit niches ranging from freshwater, to soil, to the interior of mammalian cells. We utilize a cross-disciplinary set of experimental and computational tools to understand regulatory mechanisms that enable bacterial cells to adapt their growth to changing environments.
Our studies primarily center on the freshwater bacterium Caulobacter crescentus and the related human pathogen Brucella abortus, which is the causative agent of the global zoonotic disease known as brucellosis. Research in the lab includes:
1) Functional, structural, and biophysical characterization of light/redox protein sensors
2) Genetic and structural studies of bacterial metabolic and cell cycle control systems
3) Structural, functional, and computational studies of the alphaproteobacterial general stress signaling system, including its role in chronic brucellosis
4) Development of new antimicrobial treatment strategies