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Microbial Physiology

Context matters: Whitaker combines her passions for microbiology and education to better understand our world

Microbes, human beings, and the many systems we inhabit, from farms to factories and hospitals to high schools, are all connected. Working in natural environments, research labs, and local communities, Rachel Whitaker has been...

Scientists discover a small immune system that packs a big punch

A recent study by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has discovered a unique immune system in bacteria composed of a single enzyme that destroys a broad range of bacterial viruses (known as phages). Their findings were published in Cell Host & Microbe.

Meet MCB: John E. Cronan, PhD ’68, Biochemistry

It is rare to fall in love with a field during college, pursue it, and build a stellar career. Yet, that’s what John Cronan’s life has always been about- fatty acids.

University of Illinois students explore interdisciplinary approaches to Microbial Systems through MicroERA

University of Illinois students and postdocs are connecting across disciplines to explore research, networking, career and professional development opportunities related to microbial systems. The Microbial Early-career Researchers Association (MicroERA) was established in 2019 by graduate students...

E. coli induces repair enzymes to protect itself from low-grade hydrogen peroxide stress

Building upon decades of research, scientists at the University of Illinois have determined Escherichia coli (E. coli) induces DNA repair enzymes to protect itself from low-grade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) stress. Their collective findings, published recently in Molecular Microbiology, suggest the...

Synergistic Toxicity of Nitric Oxide and Hydrogen Peroxide Triggers Catastrophic Chromosomal Fragmentation

Professor Andrei Kuzminov and PhD student Pooja Agashe from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign recently explored hydrogen peroxide’s synergistic effects with nitric oxide (NO).

Cronan lab uncovers mechanism for synthesis of pimelate moiety, the biotin precursor

Professor John. E. Cronan, Microbiology Alumni Professor and professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois, is a leading researcher and innovator in the field of lipid metabolism. His recent work focuses on the synthesis of biotin and its building blocks across different species of...

Welcome to Professor Joe Sanfilippo

Professor Sanfilippo was one of ten new faculty hires made in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the last three years. Sanfilippo is an assistant professor of biochemistry.

New study explores complex phage-host interactions in human gut

Danielle Campbell, a microbiology PhD graduate of the Whitaker Lab, recently studied the interaction of the active prophage, Bacteroides phage BV01, in its tractable host strain, B. vulgatus ATCC 8482. Bacteroides, known to degrade complex carbohydrates and interact with host immune cells, are one...

New work provides broader understanding of how bacteria obtain essential nutrients in soil and during infection

In a recently published study from the University of Illinois, researchers have identified a new class of bacterial importers in over 250 species.