Bacteria play a role in almost all processes at work on the planet. From global warming to feeding the hungry to treating disease, many of the challenges that face us, as well as the potential solutions to these problems, can be traced back to bacteria. The Donato lab focuses on applying functional metagenomics to explore chemical processes used by bacteria to survive in diverse habitats. Current projects are aimed at the discovery and subsequent characterization of genes that confer antibiotic resistance on their host bacteria. Using this approach, we have successfully identified novel resistance genes from bacteria found in soil and the human body. Information regarding the nature of resistance genes will guide researchers in both the development of new antibiotics as well as strategies for antibiotic management. We are also in the early stages of projects that will identify and optimize factors limiting bacterial gene expression.
If you are interested in joining the research group, contact Dr. Donato.