Researchers in Molecular Genetics, using model systems including coronavirus, yeast, and mice, employ both focused and genome-wide approaches to investigate gene function and mechanism. Areas of investigation include virus replication and assembly; mobile DNA elements; and transcriptional regulation and chromatin structure.

Associated Researchers

Joan Curcio, Ph.D.

Host-Retrotransposon Interactions

We focus on identifying conserved eukaryotic genes that control the activity of mobile retrotransposons and retroviruses for application as drug targets in the treatment of cancer, degenerative disease and AIDS.

Todd Gray, Ph.D.

Molecular Genetics of Mycobacteria

We use innovative molecular genomic approaches to address fundamental questions of mycobacterial biology. Our findings shed new light on the evolution and function of mycobacterial genomes, accelerating tuberculosis research.

Bruce J. Herron, Ph.D.

Mammalian Genomics

We utilize an array of mammalian genomic tools to discover genetic modifiers that influence multifactorial diseases. These susceptibility loci are targets for diagnosis and treatment of similar disorders in humans.

Paul Masters, Ph.D.

Molecular Genetics of Coronaviruses

We use genetics and molecular biology to learn how coronaviruses, a family of RNA viruses including the agents that cause SARS and MERS, replicate their genetic material and assemble into virions during infection.

Anil K. Ojha, Ph.D.

Mycobacterial Persistence and Pathogenesis

We investigate the influence of biofilm growth on the mechanisms of pathogenesis, persistence and drug tolerance in mycobacterial pathogens, with particular emphasis on Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Jon Paczkowski, Ph.D.

Microbial Signal Transduction and Cell-cell Communication

We seek to understand bacterial communication by investigating how bacteria interpret autoinducers and elicit appropriate gene expression, and, more globally, to understand how all organisms decode environmental stimuli.
Janice D. Pata, Ph.D.

Janice D. Pata, Ph.D.

Polymerases, Mutations, and the Evolution of Antimicrobial Drug Resistance

We study the molecular mechanisms by which multiple DNA polymerases replicate bacterial genomes completely, with high accuracy and tolerance for DNA damage, yet also create mutations that give rise to antibiotic resistance.

Joseph T. Wade, Ph.D.

Microbial Gene Expression

We study gene regulation in bacteria, with a focus on genome-scale approaches. We are interested in regulation of transcription, the function of non-coding RNAs, and leaderless translation initiation.

Keith M. Derbyshire, Ph.D.

Associate Director for Research and Technology

We study mycobacteria and use molecular genetic approaches to investigate: global gene expression, at both transcriptional and translational levels; the mechanism of distributive conjugal transfer; and synthetic genetic interactions.