I am a Biochemistry PhD student. My research interests are adaptive evolution of bacteria, antibiotic resistance, systems biology, synthetic biology and bioengineering. There have been three aspects to my graduate research:
Discovery of New Enzyme Functions in E. coli K12 MG1655: E. coli is perhaps the most thoroughly understood model organism, yet there is evidence of knowledge gaps even in its metabolism. I am interested in making phenotypic measurements of E. coli (metabolomics and high-throughput parallelized growth assays of gene knockout mutants across many conditions) so that further knowledge gaps may be identified. Additionally, I am seeking to use the tools of gap filling algorithms, sequence homology, and mass spectrometry-based kinetic assays to fill these gaps with new gene annotations.
Laboratory Adaptive Evolution of Bacteria: E. coli grown continuously in lactate M9 minimal media undergoes rapid adaptive evolution to grow at about twice its initial rate within thirty days. I have examined systems level changes occurring in E. coli K12 MG1655 adaptively evolved to lactate M9 minimal media, with a focus on determining changes to the genome sequence.
Role of RNA Polymerase Mutations in Adaptive Evolution: Mutations to the RNA polymerase arise consistently in adaptive evolution of E. coli K12 MG1655 to continuous exponential growth in glycerol M9 minimal media and cause a large increase in fitness. A goal of my graduate research has been to understand the mechanism of the fitness increase through interpretation of transcription kinetics and gene expression measurements.
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