Randy Morgenstein was awarded an NIH F32 Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He will investigate how the bacterial cytoskeletal protein, MreB regulated cell shape. To do this he developed a Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation assay to study protein interactions in vivo. It has been unknown if and how MreB regulates cell wall synthesis and his work will look to test if MreB or another protein involved in building the bacterial cell wall acts as a scaffold to assembly a larger complex. Randy has also shown that the protein RodZ is needed for MreB assembly and rotation. He will probe the function of MreB rotation, to determine why this happens. MreB has been seen to rotate in every organism where it has been looked for, but the role of rotation is unclear. Using Escherichia coli as a model Randy hopes to answer these fundamental questions of bacterial physiology.
October 15, 2014