Raymond A. Larsen, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences

The research program for our laboratory focuses on energy transfer systems in bacteria, and the agents that exploit these systems. Our studies address key features of the interactions between bacteria and their surroundings, and have direct implications for the ability of bacteria to cause disease, resist antibiotics, and exchange genetic information. Recent undergraduate projects have considered the evolution of a set of proteins that confer protection against certain antibiotics and components of host immunity; mechanisms by which protein toxins enter bacterial cells;and genetic exchange between bacteria and the viruses that infect them. While each project has a defined set of goals, with students working toward meaningful, publishable outcomes - that nature of research is that productive enquiry leads to more questions. Thus each of the above projects have spawned new avenues to explore in the evolution and ecology of both free-living and disease-causing bacteria - and new opportunities for students to gain expertise in the techniques and strategies of modern biomolecular research.

431 Life Science Building

SETGO Summer Research