Downs Lab

Welcome to the Downs Lab

The goal of the research in my laboratory is to understand fundamental paradigms that govern metabolic network design. We use a bacterial model system and emphasize a biochemical genetic approach that utilizes in vivo analyses to inform the design of in vitro experiments. This goal has led us into probing the role of non-enzymatic chemistry and metabolic crosstalk in metabolism, in addition to engaging collaborators with metabolomics and mathematical modeling expertise. Currently the work in the lab is in two general areas: 1) Understanding the Rid system of endogenous metabolite stress, and 2) Exploring metabolic integration and redundancy using a combination of classical and global approaches.

Students from my laboratory have strong training in classical and molecular genetics, particularly as applied to metabolic questions. In addition, they utilize standard biochemical and molecular biological approaches. I encourage students to think logically about big biological questions and how to tease them apart. I strive to train students to think beyond linear pathways to appreciate the integrated nature of metabolism and the inherent chemistry that governs cellular processes.