Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
We focus on microbial ecology and its significance for oral diseases. We study microbial symbioses, microbiota assembly and disruption and microbiome-host interactions in humans and also using in vitro and in vivo models.
Cilia and flagella are microtubule-based organelles that have essential motile and sensory functions. The King lab studies the dynein molecular motors that are required to assemble and power these organelles using genetically and biochemically tractable model systems.
We investigate the mechanisms utilized by scaffolding proteins to create specificity of phosphorylation. Our work encompasses many domains including enzyme kinetics, live cell imaging, cellular physiology, and computation modeling.
The research of the Hao group aims to determine the physical and chemical principles underlying the structure/function relationships in biomedically important proteins, with a focus on ubiquitin E3 ligases that are altered in cancer and spore germination proteins that can cause food spoilage and food-borne disease as well as anthrax.
The Weller lab studies the mechanisms of HSV DNA replication, encapsidation and viral assembly and explores novel antiviral strategies aimed at inhibiting these processes. We are also interested in how HSV manipulates host stress responses such as DNA repair and the protein quality control machinery.
The Schuyler lab utilizes computational modeling to study binding and allosteric signalling in order to elucidate complicated disease mechanisms and inform drug design. Current work includes the study of SOD1 mutations that cause ALS.
The Radolf laboratory
focuses on the pathogenic spirochetes Treponema
pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agents of syphilis and Lyme
disease, respectively. The major objective of our syphilis research is to elucidate the ultrastructure and function of T. pallidum's highly unusual outer membrane and rare outer membrane proteins. With Lyme disease, our major objective is to elucidate the genetic programs that enable B. burgdorferi to transit back and forth from its arthropod vector, Ixodes scapularis and its mammalian reservoir host, typically...
Neuropeptides are used to control many functions including mood, appetite and water balance. We are interested in dietary and genetic factors that affect the ability of cells to produce these signaling molecules.
Spores of bacteria of some Bacillus and Clostridium species cause food spoilage and human disease (think ANTHRAX).The Setlow lab looks at molecular mechanisms of spore dormancy, resistance and germination, all properties essential to spores' deleterious effects.
The Heinen laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanism of the human DNA mismatch repair pathway and in understanding why defects in this pathway are associated with the hereditary cancer predisposition disease Lynch syndrome.
My research focuses on the pathogenic spirochetes Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira interrogans, the causative agents of Lyme disease and Leptospirosis, respectively. Our broad objective is to better understand the environmental signals, regulatory pathways and gene products required to maintain these unique bacteria within their enzootic and zoonotic life cycles and establish infection within the mammalian host.
Our laboratory is interested in the relationship between iron metabolism and cancer. We examine the hypothesis that iron contributes to cancer using cell culture systems, animal models and patient databases, as well as through collaborative work with systems biologists.
My expertise and research interests are in elucidating structure, dynamics and interactions of biological macromolecules using structural biology methods, including NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. The focus of my current research is on ubiquitin biology and the role ubiquitination plays in cancer development and gene silencing.
The Gryk lab focuses on solution NMR studies of biomolecular macromolecules, primarily proteins. A current emphasis is on software integration and data management for NMR data analyses - a project called CONNJUR.
My work uses high temporal and spatial resolution fluorescence imaging methods to explore the dynamic behavior of molecules in living cells. Experimental results are integrated within the Virtual Cell mathematical modeling software environment to create three-dimensional computational models of a variety of different cellular events.
Research in the Molecular Biology and Biophysics department focuses on understanding the proteins and pathways affected in human disease. From the structural biology of cancer drug targets to the mechanistic interplay between viruses and human cells, MBB labs study the basic molecular processes underlying human illnesses.
Our department can be divided into five thematic areas:
- Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
- Structural Biology and Biophysics
- Computation and Modeling
- Cellular Pathways
- Cancer Biology