I work in the lab of Professor Ferric Fang to investigate the mechanisms by which virulence genes become activated in the bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica. We propose that horizontally acquired genes become integrated into the host regulatory networks in Salmonella, a process we have termed xenogeneic silencing. Incorporated genes are typically silenced to reduce detrimental effects but can effectively countersilenced, or "turned-on", under appropriate environmental conditions. Many of these newly regulated genes govern Salmonella virulence properties. My goal seeks to understand some of these regulatory processes, specifically how the alternative sigma factor, sigmaS, is able to serve as a countersilencer during progression into bacterial stationary phase. To determine the mechanism by which this occurs, I will perform in vitro transcription assays as well as a number of biochemical assays, including DNaseI, KMnO4, and UV laser footprinting analyses.
Copyright © 2003-2013 Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington
Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology | Seattle Biomed