Research Expertise and Interest
bacterial envelope properties, biogenesis, and stress responses
Kathleen Ryan is an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. The Ryan lab studies mechanisms such as phosphorylation, localization, and proteolysis that regulate protein activity in bacteria. Our model system is the Gram-negative freshwater bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, in which post-translational regulation plays an important role in cell cycle transitions, stress responses, antibiotic persistence, and the differentiation of one cell type into another. Ongoing projects in the lab include 1) the promotion of stress tolerance and antibiotic persistence by HipBA toxin-antitoxin systems, 2) the mechanisms which allow Caulobacter to survive without the essential outer membrane molecule lipid A, and 3) engineering Caulobacter strains for use in environmentally responsive living materials.