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Frankia sp. strain Cp1 with vesicles (DBenson) Screening mutants (JGraf) Rhizobium infection threads (DGage)

The Microbiology Graduate Program at the University of Connecticut provides students with broad training in classical and modern microbiology plus exciting opportunites for state-of-the-art research leading to the Masters and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. To browse through current faculty research projects please consult the web pages of individual faculty members listed below.

Microbiology Faculty in MCB (click on the names for more information)

  • David Benson -- Molecular ecology and diversity of bacteria, plant symbionts, molecular adaptations of psychrophilic bacteria, microbial diversity and ecology in traditional cheeses.
  • Daniel Gage -- Plant-microbe interactions, microbial genetics and physiology of infection in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis.
  • J. Peter Gogarten -- Microbial evolution and phylogeny; comparative genome analyses; horizontal gene transfer; early evolution of life.
  • Joerg Graf -- Animal-microbe interactions, digestive-tract symbiosis, pathogenic microbes, microbial evolution, high-throughput DNA sequencing, and the use of 16S rRNA genes in the classification of bacteria.
  • Jonathan Klassen -- Microbial community ecology, especially using the fungus-growing ant symbiosis as a model system to study the evolution of microbial interaction networks; microbial natural product genomics, evolution and chemical ecology
  • Kenneth Noll -- Microbial genetics and biochemical physiology of hyperthermophilic bacteria, carbohydrate transport and the regulation of gene expression in hyperthermophiles.
  • Spencer Nyholm -- Host-microbe interactions, squid / Vibrio fischeri symbiosis (colonization, interactions with the innate immune system), functional genomics of hydrothermal vent symbioses.
  • Thane Papke -- Evolution and biogeography of extremophiles using population genetics, genomics and metagenomics to understand the impact of sex on species and speciation.
  • Mary Rumpho-Kennedy -- Endosymbiotic association between algal (Vaucheria litorea) chloroplasts and a marine mollusc (Elysia chlorotica), resulting in photosynthetic sea slugs.

Affiliated Faculty Members in Other Departments

  • Steven Geary (Pathobiology) -- 1. Mycoplasma genomics, microarray (expression) analysis, proteomics. 2. Pathogenic mechanisms of mycoplasmas. Mechanisms of attachment; cytadherence molecules and host cell receptors. Investigation of variably expressed cell surface proteins. 3. Vaccine Development. Immunologic and genetic means of analysis for the detection and speciation of mycoplasmas.
  • Pieter Visscher (Marine Sciences) -- Biogeochemical processes in oceanic environments, the fate of methanethiol, dimethylsulfide, methylbromide and methylchloride in oceanic waters.

Emeritus Faculty

  • Susanne Beck von Bodman (Plant Science) -- Molecular biology of host-microbe interactions. Quorum-sensing-mediated control of bacterial virulence factors. Plant genetic engineering for crop improvement and enhanced disease resistance.
  • Edward Leadbetter -- Microbial ecology, physiology, and diversity; biochemistry and physiology of gliding motility in gliding bacteria, and of sulfur and sulfonate metabolism.
  • Thomas Terry -- Microbiology education, developing new approaches and materials for microbiology educators, Web-based teaching.
  • Robert Vinopal -- Microbial physiology and genetics applied to biotechnology and environmental microbiology, antimicrobial and biocidal agents, synthetic biodegradable polymers, biodegradation.
  • Antonio Romano -- Microbial physiology, sugar transport and general microbiology.

Yeast cells on cheese (DB)
Rikenella in leech gut - FISH stain (JG)
Borellia burgdorferi in ticks (UConn EM)
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