Microbes drive all aspects of life on the planet. Finding solutions to many of our
pressing global challenges, such as skyrocketing antimicrobial resistance, emergence
of new infectious diseases, and the health of our planet’s ecosystems, will depend
upon discoveries from basic microbiology research. The Department of Microbiology at
the University of Illinois has developed and maintained the highest national and
international reputation for more than 100 years. We have built upon our
distinguished history (evidenced by the recent designation as a “Milestones in
Microbiology” site by the American Society for Microbiology) by recruiting and
retaining outstanding microbiologists who are making exciting discoveries in diverse
fields while training students in cutting edge research. Our research faculty are
highly productive and impactful. Six of the nine current senior faculty have been
elected Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology.
James M. Slauch, Head
The latest paper by the Kuzminov lab investigates the mechanism of thymineless death, which is a common mode of action of anti-cancer and anti-bacterial drugs. The findings were published in a paper titled "Sources of thymidine and analogs fueling futile damage-repair cycles and ss-gap accumulation during thymine starvation in Escherichia coli" in DNA Repair.
Microbiologist Ralph Wolfe contributed to a study of microbes that led to the discovery of a third superkingdom, or domain, of life: the archaea. Wolfe, a professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of Illinois, died March 26 in Urbana. He was 97.
The latest paper by the Kuzminov lab describes the development of a highly sensitive method to probe the nature of DNA replication in E. coli. The findings were published in a paper titled “Near-continuously synthesized leading strands in Escherichia coli are broken by ribonucleotide excision” in the Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences.
The latest paper by the Brooke lab investigates the mechanism through which an Influenza A-infected host cell can be rendered resistant to subsequent viral infections. The findings were published in a paper titled “Influenza A Virus Superinfection Potential Is Regulated by Viral Genomic Heterogeneity” in mBio.
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Our fall issue of the MCB magazine focuses on the diverse ways in which microbes affect our health.