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News

Microbiology at UW-Madison benefits from rich research tradition

University Of Wisconsin-Madison : 31 August, 2005  (Technical Article)
The latest research from Rick Gourse's lab is another link in the chain of fundamental breakthroughs on the biology of E. coli that have come from UW-Madison scientists.
The latest research from Rick Gourse's lab is another link in the chain of fundamental breakthroughs on the biology of E. coli that have come from UW-Madison scientists.

The genome sequence of E. coli was first published in 1997 by the lab of UW geneticist Fred Blattner. The sigma subunit that directs RNA polymerase to promoters was discovered almost 40 years ago by Dick Burgess, now a UW-Madison professor of oncology but then a graduate student at Harvard with James Watson, who discovered the structure of DNA.

The study of bacterial gene expression is a particular strength of the UW-Madison, with groups led by not only Gourse and Blattner, but also by professors Bob Landick, Dick Burgess, Tom Record, Tricia Kiley, Karen Wassarman and Aseem Ansari, all specializing in E. coli RNA polymerase.

Leading groups of basic researchers like this one have helped make the UW-Madison Microbiology Doctoral Training Program, with more than 80 faculty and trainers and about 120 graduate students, one of the highest-rated microbiology Ph.D. programs in the nation, trailing only Stanford and Harvard in the latest ratings.

In 2007, the bacteriology department as well as the Food Research Institute and the Medical Microbiology and Immunology Program will move into a newly constructed building at UW-Madison. The state-of-the-art facility is designed to foster collaboration and interaction among scientists working on microbial systems, which will help keep UW-Madison at the forefront of this area for years to come.
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