Drs. Derbyshire and Gray have backgrounds in prokaryotic and human molecular biology respectively, and now we combine our expertise and enthusiasm in deciphering the molecular biology of mycobacteria. We use the genetically amenable Mycobacterium smegmatis as a model organism for our studies into gene expression, cell-cell-communication, protein secretion and conjugative transfer of chromosomal DNA. We use a combination of standard molecular genetic and genomic approaches, such as RNA-seq, ribo-seq and whole genome sequencing, to provide molecular insight into mechanism and genome architecture.

Join Our Laboratory!

We currently have research positions in the laboratory for a postdoctoral fellow and research technician. The current projects available may vary, but if you are interested in a specific research area we are happy to consider your preferences and suggestions! Please send your resume and a description of your research interests to Health Research Incorporated

For information on the expression of mycobacterial genes, please visit our Interactive genomics page

We thank the NIH and NSF for their research support.

Program Updates

Dr. Keith Derbyshire Named AAAS Fellow

Dr. Derbyshire joins the ranks of distinguished scientists recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since 1874 - from Thomas Edison and Linus Pauling, to four of the 2018 Nobel Prize laureates. AAAS recognized Dr. Derbyshire “for distinguished contributions to the fields of molecular biology and microbial genetics, particularly in DNA exchange by transposition and conjugation in mycobacteria.”

New Study First to Describe Mycobacterial Cell - Cell Communication

For bacteria, sharing genetic information can be critical to survival. It can also make them fitter, better pathogens, and more able to evade the immune system and resist antibiotics. One way bacteria share their genetic information is by a process called conjugation, in which DNA is transferred from a donor to a recipient strain. Incorporation of the donor genetic information into the recipient chromosome can confer novel functions to the resulting transconjugant cells.