James J. Collins works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance. His lab is directed toward enhancing our existing antibiotic arsenal and developing more effective means to treat resistant bacterial infections.
Network Biology Analyses of Antibiotic Action
We have started a project that uses innovative systems biology approaches to quantitatively characterize and analyze bacterial gene regulatory networks underlying cellular responses to antibiotics, the formation of persisters, and the emergence of resistance. With the alarming spread of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, a better understanding of the specific sequences of events leading to cell death from the wide range of bacterial antibiotics is needed for future antibacterial development. In this project, students will work with other members of the lab (including other undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows) in conducting genetic and phenotypic studies on Escherichia coli as well as analyzing microarray expression data. Techniques used to accompish this project include molecular biology techniques, cloning techniques, and computational approaches.