About BGP

The Bacterial Genetics and Pathogenesis Group (BGP) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is an interdisciplinary group of faculty interested in basic biological processes such as DNA repair, recombination and transcription in Escherichia coli  K-12 as well as the molecular basis of microbial pathogenesis. The pathogenic bacteria under investigation include enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) and enteropathogenic (EPEC) Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the plague bacillus Yersinia pestis, Haemophilus influenzae , Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the Borrelia  species causing Lyme disease and Relapsing Fever.

Faculty

Brian J. Akerley PhD
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Phone: (508) 856-1442
E-mail:brian.akerley@umassmed.edu 
Biology and Pathogenicity of Haemophilus influenzae 

Victor Boyartchuk PhD
Program in Gene Function and Expression
Phone: (508) 856-4353
E-mail:victor.boyartchuk@umassmed.edu

Listeria monocytogenes infection

Jon D. Goguen PhD
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Phone: (508) 856-2490
E-mail: jon.goguen@umassmed.edu 
Function and regulation of virulence genes in the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis 

Beth McCormick PhD
Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Email: Beth.McCormick@umassmed.edu
Phone: 508-856-6048
Molecular mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens induce mucosal inflammation

Martin G. Marinus PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Phone: (508) 856-3330
E-mail: martin.marinus@umassmed.edu 
DNA mismatch repair and mutagenesis mechanisms

Kenan C. Murphy PhD
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Phone: (508) 856-6042
E-mail: kenan.murphy@umassmed.edu 
Structure-function studies on host and phage recombination proteins

Anthony R. Poteete PhD
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Phone: (508) 856-3708
E-mail: anthony.poteete@umassmed.edu 
Homologous genetic recombination and protein structure

Christopher M. Sassetti PhD
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Phone: (508) 856-3678
E-mail: christopher.sassetti@umassmed.edu 
Pathogenesis of tuberculosis

Michael R. Volkert PhD
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Phone: (508) 856-2314
E-mail: michael.volkert@umassmed.edu 
Regulation and function of DNA repair genes

Research Areas

Recombination, DNA repair, DNA methylation, transcription, bacteria-mammalian cell interaction, secretion, cell signalling, pathogenic mechanisms and regulation of toxin production.

 

Recent Publications (one per laboratory)

 Gawronski JD, Wong SM, Giannoukos G, Ward DV, Akerley BJ. 2009. Tracking insertion mutants within libraries by deep sequencing and a genome-wide screen for Haemophilus genes required in the lung.  PNAS 106:16422-7.

 Benoit VM, Petrich A, Alugupalli KR, Marty-Roix R, Moter A, Leong JM, Boyartchuk VL. 2010 Genetic control of the innate immune response to Borrelia hermsii influences the course of relapsing fever in inbred strains of mice. Infect Immun.78:586-94.

Wang S, Mboudjeka I, Goguen JD, Lu S. 2010. Antigen engineering can play a critical role in the protective immunity elicited by Yersinia pestis DNA vaccines. Vaccine.28:2011-9..

 Vingadassalom D, Campellone KG, Brady MJ, Skehan B, Battle SE, Robbins D, Kapoor A, Hecht G, Snapper SB, Leong JM. 2010. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli requires N-WASP for efficient type III translocation but not for EspFU-mediated actin pedestal formation. PLoS Pathog. 6: e1001056.

Srikanth CV, Wall DM, Maldonado-Contreras A, Shi HN, Zhou D, Demma Z, Mumy KL, McCormick BA. 2010. Salmonella pathogenesis and processing of secreted effectors by caspase-3. Science. 330:390-3

Marinus MG, Casadesus J. 2009. Roles of DNA adenine methylation in host-pathogen interactions: mismatch repair, transcriptional regulation, and more. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 33:488-503.

Murphy KC. 2007. The lambda Gam protein inhibits RecBCD binding to dsDNA ends. J. Molecular Biology 371,19-24.

Poteete AR. 2009. Expansion of a chromosomal repeat in Escherichia coli: roles of replication, repair, and recombination functions. BMC Mol Biol. 10, 14.

Sassetti CM, Rubin EJ. 2010.  Relics of selection in the mycobacterial genome. Nat Genet. 42:476-8.

Rippa V, Amoresano A, Esposito C, Landini P, Volkert M, and Duilio A. 2010.Specific DNA binding and regulation of its own expression by the AidB protein in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 192: 6136-6142.

 Courses

Members of the BGP group teach in the following courses:

Medical Biochemistry
Medical Microbiology
BBS807, Prokaryotic Genetics, a weekly joint long distance learning journal club discussion course with UMass-Amherst
BBS611-613, Biomedical Sciences (the graduate student core course)
BBS763, DNA Repair and Genome Stability  
BBS773, Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
MGM742, Biology of Infectious Disease
MGM815, Advanced Bacterial Pathogenesis

Postdoctoral Positions

Contact individual faculty for available postdoctoral fellow positions.

Laboratory Rotations for Graduate Students

Boyartchuk Lab 

Links