Melissa Takahashi

Professor Melissa Takahashi
Assistant Professor
Office location:
Eucalyptus Hall (EH)2226D


Research Interests

RNA gene regulation is ubiquitous in bacteria. There are well documented RNA mechanisms that regulate nearly all aspects of gene expression including transcription, translation, and mRNA degradation. These mechanisms regulate genes involved in essential processes such as amino acid biosynthesis, bacterial motility, and metabolism. Moreover, RNAs are known to regulate the expression of key virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes in pathogenic bacteria. My overall research goal is to uncover the biological principles behind RNA gene regulation in bacteria to create new tools for engineering bacteria and develop new strategies for antimicrobial therapies. My laboratory uses synthetic biology tools such as cell-free transcription-translation systems to: (1) Investigate sRNA regulatory responses to environmental changes; (2) Develop transcription attenuation mechanisms to engineer bacteria; and (3) Discover novel antimicrobial agents that target sRNA regulated antibiotic resistance mechanisms.