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Microbial Physiology

Researchers shed new light on how copper poisons microbes

Copper is deployed by our immune system to fight off pathogens and is also used in health care settings to stave off bacterial infections, but how the element does so is unclear. Now, research published in Molecular Microbiology by microbiologists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign...

Researchers discover previously undetected role of protein in peptide biosynthesis

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have discovered an unexpected reaction within a protein family. Their findings, which were recently published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, could have dramatic implications for the development of future therapeutics.

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.