Phages, the viruses that infect bacteria, profoundly influence the environment as the major predators of bacteria, and are the most abundant inhabitants of the human microbiome. My research is aimed at elucidating fundamental functional mechanisms of phages and phage-related entities, and using this knowledge to design tools to improve human health. My group combines extensive expertise in phage biology, structural biology, in vitro biochemistry, and bioinformatics, allowing us to address key questions through a multi-disciplinary approach.
Current research in my laboratory is focused on the following general goals:
- Elucidating the mechanisms by which phages assemble and interact with their hosts.
- Developing phage-derived bactericidal agents that will be used as alternatives to antibiotics and for manipulating the microbiome in a precise manner.
- Understanding how bacteria resist phage infection with particular emphasis on CRISPR-Cas systems.
- Discovering and characterizing anti-CRISPRs, which are phage-encoded inhibitors of CRISPR-Cas systems.
In running my lab, I endeavour to provide a fruitful training ground for my students where they can gain experience in as many techniques as possible, and develop independent projects based on their own interests and strengths.