Giedroc Group
The Biophysical Chemistry of Infectious Disease
Bioinorganic Chemistry • Biophysical Chemistry • Bioanalytical Chemistry

Our research interests fall under a common umbrella we term the chemical and physical biology of infectious disease. Work is ongoing in two primary projects: 1) transition metal homeostasis (metallostasis) in bacterial pathogens; 2) hydrogen sulfide (H2S) sensing and reactive sulfur species (RSS) in the major nosocomial pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Enterococcus facaelis and Acinetobacter baumannii.  We have also worked in the area of regulatory RNA structure and function, in viral translational frameshifting, and most recently in the replication of vertebrate coronaviruses, a complex group of viruses that are causative agents of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and COVID-19.  Prof. Giedroc seeks a molecular-level understanding of macromolecular structure, dynamics and regulation, and uses the tools of biophysical chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, proteomic profiling and NMR structure determination.

Persulfide sensing and Reactive Sulfur Species in Bacterial Pathogens

Persulfide Sensing and Reactive Sulfur Species (RSS) in Bacteria In this project, we are developing new concepts of bacterial hydrogen sulfide (H2S) homeostasis, and seeking an understanding of the chemistry and physiological adaptation of H2S misregulation in important microbial pathogens.  In 2014, we discovered a paralog of a copper-sensing operon repressor CsoR in Staphylococcus aureus that… View Article

Metallostasis in Bacterial Pathogens

Metallostasis: Transition Metal Homeostasis in Bacterial Pathogens In this project, our goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of how cells regulate the intracellular bioavailability of essential transition metal ions, notably Cu, Mn and Zn among others. This process, termed metal homeostasis and resistance, represents an important battleground in human host-bacterial pathogen interactions since these… View Article

Past Projects

Ribosomal frameshifting in RNA Viruses

In this project, we were primarily interesting in understanding the thermodynamic stability and solution structures of hairpin-(H)-type RNA pseudoknots that stimulate -1 ribosomal frameshifting in many plant and animal RNA viruses.  Multi-dimensional NMR spectroscopy was used to solve the solution structures of these so-called “triple-helical” RNAs, exemplified by exquisite pseudoknot loop-helix base pairing that collectively… View Article

Coronavirus Replication: RNA Structure and Protein-RNA Interactions

Coronavirus Replication In this project, initiated as a collaborative project at Texas A&M University, we used the tools of biophysical chemistry, SHAPE and NMR spectroscopy to understand the structure and biological function of the very “tips” of the coronavirus genome, the 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions (UTRs) that direct the replication, subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) transcription,… View Article

Collaborative Projects

Cell Division and Peptidoglycan Remodeling in Streptococcus pneumoniae

Publications Structure of the large extracellular loop of FtsX and its interaction with the essential peptidoglycan hydrolase PcsB in Streptococcus pneumoniae Rued, B. E., Alcorlo, M., Edmonds, K. A., Martínez-Caballero, S., Straume, D., Fu, Y., Bruce, K. E., Wu, H., Håvarstein, L. S., Hermoso, J. A., Winkler, M. E., & Giedroc, D. P. (2018) mBio… View Article