Faculty & Research


    The Jacobs-Wagner group studies the temporal and spatial mechanisms involved in bacterial cell replication, with emphasis on chromosome dynamics, cell division, cell cycle regulation, and cell morphogenesis. Our approach combines bacterial genetics and biochemistry with quantitative cell imaging and mathematical modeling. For our experimental studies, we primarily use Escherichia coli, Caulobacter crescentus and the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi as model systems.


    The overall goal of the Goodman lab is to dissect the mechanisms that commensal gut microbes use to compete, cooperate, and antagonize each other in the gut and to explore how microbiome variation impacts our response to external perturbations, including pathogenic infection and medical drugs.

    The Groisman research program seeks answers to a fundamental biological question: How does an organism know when, where and for long to turn a gene on or off? We address this question by investigating bacterial species, such as Salmonella enterica and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, that establish intimate interactions with animal hosts.

    The Hatzios lab uses chemical and biological tools to identify proteins that are active during infection, determine how they respond to environmental cues, and characterize their molecular contributions to disease. By examining the functional proteome of bacterial infections, we aim to uncover biochemical pathways that will generate new leads for therapeutic targets, activity-based diagnostics, and drug-delivery systems.

    The Liu lab is dedicated to developing a high-throughput cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) pipeline for high-resolution structure determination of molecular machines in cells. The state-of-the-art imaging provides insights into fundamental biochemical processes: bacterial motility, chemotactic signaling, protein secretion, DNA translocation, and host-pathogen interaction.

    The overarching goal of Malvankar lab is to define the mechanisms by which microbes interact with and manipulate their environment using hair-like surfaces appendages that function as protein nanowires. Our ultimate goal is engineering these interactions to control microbial pathophysiology and ecology.

    The Sanchez lab investigates the assembly and evolution of microbial communities. Our research combines mathematical and computational modeling and quantitative experiments to link metabolic and molecular processes with population-level behavior. Our ultimate goal is to develop a quantitative predictive theory of microbiome assembly and its ecological and evolutionary dynamics.