We work on two main areas of research: Glycoimmunology and Microbial Glycobiology
Glycoimmunology: Every cell in the human body is covered with a layer of sugars that are crucial for human health. The cells of the immune system rely on these sugars to identify healthy cells as well as those that are malfunctioning (like cancer cells) or pathogenic (like bacteria and viruses). We study how these sugars contribute to human health and what happens when they stop functioning properly in diseases like cancer and autoimmune disease.
Microbial Glycobiology: It has recently been discovered that bacteria make cytoplasmic glycoproteins in a system that is analogous to the human O-GlcNAc modification. We want to understand how bacterial protein glycosylation contributes to cellular homeostasis and environmental sensing in bacteria associated with the microbiome.
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.Winter Term 2021 Winter Term 2022