About Our Research
Antibiotic resistance of bacterial pathogens is a growing threat to human and animal health. To understand strategies used by bacteria for virulence and growth under various conditions, the Gene Expression and Regulation Section investigates how bacteria and phage (viruses that infect bacteria) control the expression of their genomes. We use these simple bacterial and bacteriophage models because these systems can be defined in detail biochemically and investigated at a molecular level. In particular, we focus on the regulation of bacteriophage T4 genes whose products are involved in phage-host interactions and the regulation of gene expression by Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, by Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, and by an Adherent Invasive E. coli pathobiont, LF82, associated with Crohn’s disease. In our work, we combine classic protein/nucleic acids biochemistry and microbiology with state-of-the-art structural and molecular modeling techniques to understand the protein-protein and protein-DNA contacts and the mechanisms needed for regulation.