Nutritional interactions in microbial communities.

We are interested in understanding how microorganisms that reside in complex communities interact through the sharing of nutrients, and how these interactions shape the composition and function of microbial communities. Our major research focus is on the vitamin B12 family of molecules (corrinoids), nutrients that are synthesized only by a fraction of the bacteria that use them. We use molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, mathematical modeling,  biochemistry, and analytical chemistry to investigate how these cofactors are synthesized, used, and acquired by bacteria.

Corrinoid Cross-feeding in Microbial Communities

Little is known about the molecular interactions that occur in microbial communities because of the complexity of these systems. We have chosen corrinoid cross-feeding as a model to study nutritional interactions in such communities. We use are using a combination of bacterial genetics, bacterial physiology, and biochemistry approaches to investigate the molecular factors that influence corrinoid structure and the functional consequences of corrinoid structural diversity.

Targeted Killing of Bacteria in Communities

There is a need for improved mechanisms to investigate the roles of specific types of bacteria in their communities. We are developing new strategies to allow the selective elimination of specific bacterial taxa from a community.

Past Research

Check out our publications page for the best info about our past work.