Dr. Paul Hyman
My research centers on bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria. Myoviridae bacteriophages (phage), a group of phages that includes T4 phage, are among the most structurally complex viruses with fairly large genomes. This genetic and structural complexity allows them to display a variety of growth cycle alterations and even simple behaviors in response to environmental stimuli. Specifically, my research touches on three areas – the Myoviridae life cycle and interactions with the host bacterium, phage capsid protein structures and phage therapy. Phage life cycles are defined by certain parameters such as time between infection and release of progeny, the latent period. Working with a colleague at the Ohio State University, we have identified several phage mutations of T4 bacteriophage that appear to have alterations in latent period. These mutations affect different metabolic pathways and we are studying the interactions between these pathways. One of the mutations is in a gene that encodes a protein component of the phage capsid, the protein shell that carries the genome from one host cell to another. This mutation was isolated as part of a different project whose goal was to genetically manipulate capsid proteins to create a controllable protein assembly system. This work has implications for both phage biology and developing novel polymer materials. Alterations in these proteins can also affect the phage’s host range, the types of cells it can affect. This has implications and applications for the use of phage as antibacterial agents (phage therapy) as well as the evolution of phage and the host bacteria.
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Biology and Toxicology at Ashland University
When you choose a Biology Science major at Ashland University, you join a program on the cutting edge of scientific exploration with outstanding facilities and research equipment, access to five local nature preserves, strong... Read More