I am a microbiologist whose interests include host-bacterial interactions, bacterial evolution, virulence factor evolution, regulation of gene expression and synthetic biology.
Education and Training:
B.Sc. Queen’s University (Biochemistry)
Ph.D. McMaster University (Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences)
Postdoctoral Fellow: Yale University (Microbial Pathogenesis)
I started as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta in July 2019.
Our research is focused on understanding the biology of bacterial pathogens, how they interact with their hosts and how they acquire new virulence and disease properties. One major goal of the lab is to identify and characterize genetic factors that enable closely related bacteria (such as members of the same species or subspecies) to exhibit very different traits.
Much of our research is focused on the bacterial species Salmonella enterica. Salmonella is an ideal subject for our research due to its importance to human health and agriculture as well as the fact that it is a very diverse species comprised of many lineages that exhibit very different behaviours and that occupy different ecological niches.
Some specific research interests of the lab include:
- The evolution of secreted bacterial toxins
- The role of Salmonella toxins in virulence and disease
- The evolution of gene expression regulation
Each area of research in the lab aims to shed light on an interesting and unexplored aspect of biology as well as to build knowledge and tools with real world applications. In the long-term, we are interested in devising new approaches to combat bacterial infections, re-engineering bacterial products into therapeutics and in developing new synthetic biology tools.
This course will focus on the structure and physiology of free-living and pathogenic bacteria. The diversity of their metabolic activities, the interaction of microbes with their environment, symbiotic relationships and cell-to-cell communication are major topics. Lectures and laboratory exercises are coordinated to explore topics in basic microbiology, environmental microbiology, molecular microbiology, and the production of economically or medically important products through microbial biotechnology. Prerequisites: BIOL 107 and CHEM 164 or 261. SCI 100 may be used in lieu of BIOL 107 and CHEM 261.Fall Term 2021