About the Lab

We are part of the Laboratory of Genetics and the Genome Center of Wisconsin, and members of the Department of Energy-funded Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).

     We use modern techniques in comparative and functional genomics, computational and systems biology, and genetics and molecular biology to study how cells sense their environment, detect when there is a problem, and then mount a multi-faceted response to protect themselves against stress.  We study these topics in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model for basic biology.  Because defects in sensing and responding to cellular stress are linked to many human diseases, and because much of yeast physiology is similar to human cells, our research is generating important insights into how normal cells function and when problems cause disease.
     In addition to uncovering fundamental questions about basic biology, we also apply this information to producing sustainable and economical biofuels from cellulosic materials, through research in the GLBRC.  Because yeast stress is a critical bottleneck in generating economical fuels from available biomass, our research is advancing this area by using our knowledge to engineer yeast for industrial use.
     We are also passionate about using our scientific background to educate kids and promote science education.
Find out more about our research and outreach activities on the following pages …