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Welcome to the Schweiger Lab!

We study how microbes can be used industrially, how they can be manipulated to improve function, and when they may be of environmental or health concern.

Our lab primarily studies microorganisms with the goal of understanding how their genes and proteins influence metabolism. In this way we can manipulate the organism's metabolism or introduce new metabolic pathways to microbes to produce end-products that have industrial application. Our research combines microbiological, molecular biology, biochemical, and systems approaches to engineer microbes for novel and increased production of value-added products. Using microorganisms as catalysts has many advantages over classic organic chemistry approaches, such as increased yields, high stereo- and regio-specificity without the need for protection group chemistry, and use of renewable living catalysts.


In addition, we have several collaborative projects. We are part of a Nanoparticle Life Cycle Analysis collaboration with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center where we asses microbial cytotoxicity and molecular mechanisms of toxicity. We also collaborate with Dr. Day Ligon to analyze the changes in gut microbiota of alligator snapping turtles under different types of nutritional feeding to enhance laboratory and sanctuary rearing success of these threatened species. We also collaborate with Dr. Alder Yu on the effect of fruit fly gut microbiota on various aspects of fly health, which serves as a model for how gut microbiota may impact a variety of aspects of human health. Descriptions of these projects and other interests can be found under the Research Interests tab.

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