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Jennifer K. Herman

Herman, Jennifer K.
Jennifer K. Herman
Associate Professor
305A BioBio
Graduate Education
Ph.D. Indiana University, Bloomington (2005)
Post-doctoral Research, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital (2005-2007)
Post-doctoral Research, Harvard Medical School (2007-2011)
Courses Taught
BICH/GENE431 (Molecular Genetics)
BICH689 (Methods of Biochemical Analysis)
BICH689 (Application of Scientific Values in Daily Research Practice)
BICH689 (Graduate Student Seminar)

Subcellular Organization in Bacteria

The study of bacterial cell biology has surged in the last decade, largely due to technological advances in live-cell imaging, the discovery of new bacterial cytoskeletal elements, and the need to identify new targets and novel therapies for emerging antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As a result, we now appreciate that bacteria are highly organized at the subcellular level; they localize macromolecules to specific cellular locations, often in dynamic and temporally regulated manners. Strikingly, the range of bacterial molecules with specific localizations encompasses every fundamental cellular process, including DNA replication, cell division, and secretion, as well as specialized processes such as motility, virulence, and development into differential cell types.

The study of how bacteria organize important cellular processes and determining the functional/physiological implications of this organization for the cell is one of the most exciting areas of research in microbiology. In the Herman lab, we utilize the model organism Bacillus subtilis, a bacterium with superb molecular, genetic and cell biological tools, that that can also differentiate into a resting cell type called a spore. Our research goal is to elucidate how bacteria coordinate key biological processes with their cellular architecture using molecular, biochemical, and cell biological techniques.

Recent Publications

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  1. Brown, EE, Miller, AK, Krieger, IV, Otto, RM, Sacchettini, JC, Herman, JK et al.. A DNA-Binding Protein Tunes Septum Placement during Bacillus subtilis Sporulation. J. Bacteriol. 2019;201 (16):.
    doi: 10.1128/JB.00287-19. PubMed PMID:31160399. PubMed Central PMC6657595.

  2. Sperber, AM, Herman, JK. Metabolism Shapes the Cell. J. Bacteriol. 2017;199 (11):.
    doi: 10.1128/JB.00039-17. PubMed PMID:28320879. PubMed Central PMC5424247.

  3. Duan, Y, Huey, JD, Herman, JK. The DnaA inhibitor SirA acts in the same pathway as Soj (ParA) to facilitate oriC segregation during Bacillus subtilis sporulation. Mol. Microbiol. 2016;102 (3):530-544.
    doi: 10.1111/mmi.13477. PubMed PMID:27489185. .

  4. Duan, Y, Sperber, AM, Herman, JK. YodL and YisK Possess Shape-Modifying Activities That Are Suppressed by Mutations in Bacillus subtilis mreB and mbl. J. Bacteriol. 2016;198 (15):2074-88.
    doi: 10.1128/JB.00183-16. PubMed PMID:27215790. PubMed Central PMC4944218.

  5. Ababneh, QO, Tindall, AJ, Herman, JK. A Secreted Factor Coordinates Environmental Quality with Bacillus Development. PLoS ONE. 2015;10 (12):e0144168.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144168. PubMed PMID:26657919. PubMed Central PMC4689505.

  6. Miller, AK, Brown, EE, Mercado, BT, Herman, JK. A DNA-binding protein defines the precise region of chromosome capture during Bacillus sporulation. Mol. Microbiol. 2016;99 (1):111-22.
    doi: 10.1111/mmi.13217. PubMed PMID:26360512. .

  7. Ababneh, QO, Herman, JK. CodY Regulates SigD Levels and Activity by Binding to Three Sites in the fla/che Operon. J. Bacteriol. 2015;197 (18):2999-3006.
    doi: 10.1128/JB.00288-15. PubMed PMID:26170408. PubMed Central PMC4542168.

  8. Ababneh, QO, Herman, JK. RelA inhibits Bacillus subtilis motility and chaining. J. Bacteriol. 2015;197 (1):128-37.
    doi: 10.1128/JB.02063-14. PubMed PMID:25331430. PubMed Central PMC4288673.

  9. Wagner-Herman, JK, Bernard, R, Dunne, R, Bisson-Filho, AW, Kumar, K, Nguyen, T et al.. RefZ facilitates the switch from medial to polar division during spore formation in Bacillus subtilis. J. Bacteriol. 2012;194 (17):4608-18.
    doi: 10.1128/JB.00378-12. PubMed PMID:22730127. PubMed Central PMC3415491.

  10. Wagner, JK, Marquis, KA, Rudner, DZ. SirA enforces diploidy by inhibiting the replication initiator DnaA during spore formation in Bacillus subtilis. Mol. Microbiol. 2009;73 (5):963-74.
    doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06825.x. PubMed PMID:19682252. PubMed Central PMC2992877.

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