The Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology department has two main research foci: microbiology and environmental health and toxicology. Research in the area of environmental health and toxicology focuses on the exposure of organisms to toxic agents, as well as examination of the molecular and physiological processes that are impacted by these exposures—with a special emphasis exposure to metals. Faculty members address a range of questions, including environmental concentration, speciation, and isotopic composition of toxic agents, exposure pathways, and toxic consequences for key molecular and cellular mechanisms. Research in the area of microbiology focuses on the analysis of molecular genetics of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria. Faculty address a diverse range of questions focused on how bacteria can transform metals to enhance or diminish their toxicity, and how bacteria themselves act as harmful agents by infecting humans.
METX Department faculty members investigating microbiology are:
- Victoria Auerbuch Stone (METX): Interplay between the bacterial type III secretion system and innate immunity.
- Manel Camps (METX): Evolution of drug resistance; ColE1 plasmid replication and biotechnological applications of genetic modulation of plasmid replication.
- Karen Ottemann (METX): How Helicobacter pylori senses and colonizes host environments
- Chad Saltikov (METX): Microbes and arsenic contamination of drinking Water
- Fitnat Yildiz (METX): Understanding processes controlling transmission of bacterial pathogens: biofilm formation and environmental stress responses
METX Department faculty members investigating environmental health and toxicology:
- Manel Camps (METX): Repair of methyl-DNA adducts; mechanisms of action and resistance to chemotherapeutic agents; detection and quantification of random mutations
- Russ Flegal (METX): Biogeochemical Cycling of Metals
- Karen Ottemann (METX): Bacterial pathogens, inflammation and cancer
- Chad Saltikov (METX): Microbes and arsenic contamination of drinking water
- Donald Smith (METX): Mechanisms underlying responses and adaptations of organisms to toxic metal exposures
- Myra Finkelstein (METX Adjunct): Wildlife toxicology—forging links between individual and population level effects