The regulation of transcription initiation by DNA-binding transcription factors has long been presumed to be the primary mode of genetic regulation in bacteria. Indeed, most bacteria encode for ~100-300 transcription factors. However, initiation is only the first step; many downstream events are also critically important in establishing mRNA and protein levels. In fact, it has become increasingly obvious in the past decade that post-initiation regulatory mechanisms are much more common that previously realized. These post-initiation regulatory strategies can exert their influence over several processes, including transcription elongation, translation efficiency, and mRNA stability. The specific goal of the Winkler laboratory is to discover the molecular mechanisms, overall usage and synthetic applications of post-initiation regulatory strategies in bacteria. Our long-term goal in elucidating these regulatory circuits is to uncover fundamentally important regulatory features in pathogenic microbes and to uncover new potential targets for development of antimicrobial compounds.
Ph.D. The Ohio State University, 2002
Postdoctoral Training, Yale University 2004