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Welcome to the Himes Lab

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Contact Information:

Email: paul dot himes at louisville dot edu

Office: 204 Life Sciences Building

Phone: (502) 852-7779

Lab: 209 Life Sciences Building

Lab Phones: (502) 852-6733

                          (502) 854-0266

 

Mailing Address:

Department of Biology

139 Life Sciences Building

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40292

What We Do:

We are interested in how bacteria sense their surroundings and decide how to respond.  If a pathogenic bacterium produces proteins important for surviving in a host when it’s not in the host, it will be wasting energy; be outcompeted by other, more efficient bacteria; and reach an evolutionary dead end.  If it does survive long enough to make it into the host but hasn’t reached the right site yet, producing the wrong proteins could lead to detection by the host immune system and elimination (another outcome that doesn’t look promising for its survival as a species). 

Bacteria use a number of mechanisms to answer the important question of “How do I know when I should turn on and off these genes?”  We study bacteria that live in mixed communities with several other bacteria and can cause disease in people with weakened immune systems.  By dissecting the signaling pathways they use to sense whether any cells that might be around them are others like themselves, other species that can either help or hurt them, or host cells that they can prey upon, we hope to learn how bacteria make the decisions that impact there fitness and ability to cause disease.

Currently, I am looking for a few motivated students (both graduate and undergrad) to fill available research positions in the lab.  If you are interested, please contact me (info at left) with your status, research interests and experience (if any), and availability.

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