We are examining the structures of the complex macromolecular machinery of cellular organization, with a focus on bacterial cytoskeletal systems and organelles. Historically, bacteria have been viewed as simple organisms with little internal organization, often described as mere ‘bags of enzymes’. Recently, however, we have come to appreciate that, like eukaryotes, bacteria utilize a diverse set of cytoskeletal filaments and specialized organelles to organize their internal space. These advances have opened a fertile field of research aimed at elucidating the mechanisms of bacterial intracellular organization, providing insight into fundamental principles of cellular function as well as unique aspects of prokaryotic cell biology. Proper internal organization is often essential for bacterial growth, so understanding how to interfere with organizing processes may prove effective in combating pathogenic bacteria. One of the central challenges we are tackling is to develop a structural framework for understanding the internal organization of bacteria, using methods that allow us to visualize in three dimensions single molecules, large molecular machines, and entire cells. For more information on specific projects, please follow the links below.
1959 NE Pacific Street Box 357350
Seattle, WA 98195