We are driven by our interest in understanding the chemistry behind fundamental biological processes. Our goal is to uncover and understand molecular mechanisms that maintain transition metal homeostasis in bacteria. We seek to conduct high quality basic research while training young scientists.
Metal micronutrients such as Cu+, Zn2+, and Fe2+ play essential roles in biological systems as protein cofactors. However, their redox activity, as well as binding to adventitious sites, can lead to cell damage. Because of their critical functions and potential toxicity, transition metals are critical to cell physiology. Furthermore, metals are at the center of host-pathogens interactions. In our lab, we take advantage of tractable bacterial models to describe the molecules that determine the fate of metals in biological systems.