"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."
— Kurt Vonnegut

Our lab studies dynamic elements that interrupt genes, introns and inteins. Introns are removed at the level of the RNA by a process called "RNA splicing". Inteins are maintained in the RNA and removed after translation by "protein splicing". Introns and inteins are also mobile genetic elements that move within and between genomes. 


The lab is a productive place in which lab managers and technicians interact with post-docs, graduate students and undergraduates. We also collaborate with other labs at the University, throughout the region, the U.S., and indeed the world, using the disciplines of genetics, biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, structural biology, molecular evolution and chemical engineering

We work in different bacterial and fungal microbes including pathogens that infect humans. Practical applications are being explored, too, and we hold patents for the use of both introns and inteins in biotechnology. Both elements also can be used to facilitate protein purification, while inteins, which are found in critical genes of human microbial pathogens, are promising targets for development of novel antibiotics.