Cutting Lecture on February 7, 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020 Munzer Auditorium 12:30 - 1:30pm

The Department of Chemical and Systems Biology Presents

Houra Merrikh, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Vanderbilt University

“Replication-transcription conflicts and the evolutionary mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance”

In this seminar, I will cover our most recent findings on 1) the conflicts between the DNA replication and transcription machineries and 2) the critical mechanisms driving the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Much of our interest lies in determining what happens when DNA replication forks encounter RNA polymerases. In recent years, we have identified some of the critical underlying mechanisms that lead to the detrimental outcomes of conflicts. We have also discovered interesting phenomenon regarding the impact of these encounters on the evolution of bacterial genomes. In my talk, I will highlight some of the key findings on these topics. Our lab is also interested in the molecular mechanisms that drive the evolution of antimicrobial resistance. I will discuss our recent findings on this topic and propose inhibiting evolution as a new approach to battle the development of antimicrobials across diverse pathogens.

Reading Material:

  1. Ragheb et al., Inhibiting the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance 2019, Molecular Cell 73, 157-165
  2. Kevin S. Lang and Houra Merrikh The Clash of Macromolecular Titans: Replication-Transcription Conflicts in Bacteria Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 2018. 72:71-88