Microbiologists in the department of MCDB tend to focus on fundamental biological topics that have relevance outside of their specific organism of interest. In general, the study of basic cellular processes in microbes is more amenable than is possible in more complex organisms. Microbiology is an interdisciplinary study wherein most microbiologists use a combination of molecular genetics and biochemistry. In addition, it is not uncommon for microbiologists to rely heavily on cell biology, proteomics, genomic and bioinformatics approaches. Students trained in microbiology labs are highly skilled in a variety of techniques which are widely applicable to many other fields.
In general, our microbiologists study a variety of fundamental processes in both prokaryotes and yeast. Researchers who work on prokaryotes are interested in fundamental topics such as gene expression, protein folding, protein localization, heat shock and stress response, and genome evolution. Researchers working with eukaryotes investigate various aspects of yeast biology including protein targeting, protein folding, cell aging, cell cycle control, the establishment of cell polarity and genome evolution. Most microbiologists have strong ties with the other MCDB focus areas.