I am a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a member of the Institute for Genome Sciences. During my career I have developed expertise in comparative microbial genomics, bioinformatics and functional genomics. I have led comparative genome sequencing and analysis projects for important human diarrheal pathogens, focusing on Escherichia coli and Shigella species as well as Bacillus cereus group isolates. I have developed comparative bioinformatics tools designed to characterize the genetic diversity in closely related bacterial isolates. Also, I was the first to publish a comparative genomic study that included a genome reference from a true commensal, each of the six diarrheagenic E. coli pathogenic variants (pathovars) as well as representatives of the urinary tract and avian derived E. coli to total 17 genomes. This resulted in the first description of the E. coli pangenome as “open” and identified a core gene set of ~2200 genes present in all E. coli. This comparative work has laid the framework for the continued functional study of the evolution of these pathogens, which has recently been expanded to include Shigella spp., as well as functional studies of these unique and conserved gene features.
Recent studies in my group have focused on large scale genome analysis using hundreds of genomes.
For additional information about me you can visit my SOM faculty profile here.
For a full list of my publications visit the publications page of this site.