Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Adhya, Sankar
Location National Institutes of Health
Primary Field Microbial Biology
Secondary Field Genetics
 Election Citation
Adhya, through his elegant synthesis of biochemical and genetic methods, has made many seminal discoveries in bacterial gene regulation. His findings offer new insights into how proteins that regulate both initiation and termination of transcription interact with polynucleotides and with each other to control gene expression from dispersed genetic sites.
 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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