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Molecular Genetics

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.

Research Area Profile

  • Valerie J. Bolivar

    Valerie J. Bolivar, Ph.D.

    • Neurobehavioral Genetics

    We examine the genetics of brain abnormalities and behavioral impairments associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Our current focus is identifying genes involved in abnormal forebrain connectivity and autism-relevant behaviors in mice.

  • Joan Curcio

    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.

  • Keith M. Derbyshire

    Keith M. Derbyshire, Ph.D.

    • Director of the Division of Genetics

    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.

  • Todd Gray

    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

    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

    Paul Masters, Ph.D.

    • Molecular Genetics of Coronoviruses

    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.

  • Randall H. Morse

    Randall H. Morse, Ph.D.

    • Transcription and Chromatin

    We study eukaryotic transcriptional regulation, with a focus on the yeast Mediator complex. We use molecular genetics and genomics, biochemistry, and bioinformatic/computational methods.

  • Anil K. Ojha

    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.

  • Janice D. Pata

    Janice D. Pata, Ph.D.

    • Computational and Structural Biology

    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

    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.