Sankar Adhya

National Institutes of Health

Primary Section: 44, Microbial Biology
Secondary Section: 26, Genetics
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1994)

Research Interests

My major research is the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of genetic controls fundamental to adaptation, development, and differentiation of cells. By genetic and biochemical methods in model organisms, bacterium Escherichia coli and its phage, we have demonstrated that gene expression is regulated not only at the level of transcription initiation but also at the level of elongation. We have shown gene regulatory proteins interact with polynucleotides and with each other from dispersed genetic sites for biochemical action by forming nucleic acid loops. Employing combined approaches of transgenic animals and detection of mutation in prokaryotic systems, we are also studying mutagenesis in mouse models. Using bacteriophage genetics, we have developed methods to detect both forward and reverse mutations (by direct selection) in phage after recovering them from transgenic mouse chromosomal DNA by in vitro virion packaging. Because of increased prevalence of multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens, more recently we are reevaluating the efficacy of bacteriophages as therapeutic agents. By the use of genetics and recombinant DNA technology, we are developing bacteriophage strains which have enhanced capacity to kill bacteria in mice with experimental bacterimia.

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