We want to learn how to counter antibiotic resistance mechanisms of bacteria.
Our major research interest is to understand how bacterial gene expression is regulated, particularly genes that engender multiple antibiotic resistance. Specifically, we are studying the mechanism of transcriptional activation by MarA, SoxS, and Rob, a homologous group of proteins that stimulates the expression of more than 40 genes involved in resistance to diverse antibiotics, superoxides, and organic solvents in Escherichia coli. By combining genetics and molecular biology, we are learning how these proteins are regulated and how they bind to DNA and interact with RNA polymerase to activate transcription.
We are also investigating the mechanisms whereby cellular metabolites upregulate the activities of stress-response systems, which in turn activate genes for efflux pumps that rid the cells of antibiotics.
Applying our Research
The goal is to understand how bacteria become antibiotic resistant so that we can create tools for overcoming the resistance.
Need for Further Study
Further research is needed to study the basic mechanisms of stress-response systems.