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We are interested in taking single molecule measurements into living cells to study the organization, function, and dynamics of cellular processes.

Recent News

(December 2023) “Protocol for single-molecule labeling and tracking of bacterial cell division proteins” is now available on STAR Protocols!

(December 2023)  “Differential roles of positive and negative supercoiling in organizing the E. coli genome” is now available on Nucleic Acids Research!

(November 2023) “Integration of cell wall synthesis and chromosome segregation during cell division in Caulobacter” is now available on J Cell Biol!

(July 2023) We welcome Sam Meyer from Lyon INSA, France as a visiting scholar in the lab!

(August 2023) Dr. Brooke Britton and Dr. Remy Yovanno‘s work in collaboration with Dr. Albert Lau and Dr. Zach Hensel on “Conformational changes in the essential E. coli septal cell wall synthesis complex suggest an activation mechanism” is now available in Nature Communications!

(June 2023) Dr. Jason Lyu, Dr. Brooke Britton and undergraduate student Lily Chen attend GRC Bacterial Cell Biology and Development in Manchester, NH and present their work.

(May 2023) The Chesapeake Single Molecule Biology Meeting is happening again! Join us for a day of science and karaoke in honor of Drs. TJ Ha and Sua Myong! The registration deadline is April 24th.

(April 2023)  Dr. Kelsey Bettridge and Graduate students Fran Harris and Nico Yehya, “RNAP promoter search and transcription kinetics in live E. coli cells” is now out on Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

(March 2023) Undergraduate student Lily Chen was awarded the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) for conducting summer research in our lab on bacterial cell wall synthesis. Congrats, Lily!

(March 2023) Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Amilcar Perez was awarded the F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Fellowship for his study of the bacterial cell wall synthesis. Congrats, Amilcar!

(March 2023) Dr. Lior Shachaf‘s work in collaboration with Dr. Elijah Roberts and Dr. Patrick Cahan on “Gene regulation network inference using k-nearest neighbor-based mutual information estimation: revisiting an old DREAM” is now published in BMC Bioinformatics!

(Feb 2023) Dr. Brooke Britton, Dr. Amilcar Perez, and graduate student Martin Yepes attend the Fusion Conference 4th Bacterial Cell Biology and present their work in Cancun, Mexico.

(Jan 2023) Graduate students Fran Harris, Nico Yehya and Ziqi Fu attend the GRC Stochastic Physics in Biology in Ventura, CA and present their work.

(December 2022) Dr. Kelsey Bettridge‘s preprint “RNAP promoter search and transcription kinetics in live E. coli cells” is now available on BioRxiv!

(December 2022) Master student Ziqi Fu‘s preprint in collaboration with Dr. Ken Zhou and Dr. Monica Guo on “Differential Roles of positive and negative supercoiling in compacting the E. coli genome” is now available on BioRxiv!

(November 2022) Dr. Brooke Britton and Dr. Remy Yovanno‘s preprint in collaboration with Dr. Albert Lau and Dr. Zach Hensel on “Conformational changes in the essential E. coli septal cell wall synthesis complex suggest an activation mechanism” is now available on BioRxiv!

(September 2022) Dr. Jason Lyu‘s work in collaboration with Dr. David Weiss on “FtsN maintains active septal cell wall synthesis by forming a processive complex with the septum-specific peptidoglycan synthases in E. coli is now published in Nature Communications!

(September 2022) Master student Yuncong Geng‘s work in collaboration with Dr. Elijah Roberts on A spatially resolved stochastic model reveals the role of supercoiling in transcription regulation is now published in PLoS Computational Biology!

(September 2022) Graduate student Nico Yehya was awarded the F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Fellowship for his study of the impact of DNA topology on transcription. Congrats, Nico!

(August 2022) Dr. Joshua McCausland successfully defended his Ph. D. thesis on “FtsZ treadmilling guides the spatiotemporal distribution of E. coli cell wall synthases” and will be off to Stanford for his postdoctoral training in Dr. Christine Jacobs-wagner’s lab in sunny California. We will miss you, Josh!

Select Publications

Zhixin Lyu, Atsushi Yahashiri, Xinxing Yang, Joshua W McCausland, Gabriela M Kaus, Ryan McQuillen, David S Weiss, Jie Xiao, FtsN maintains active septal cell wall synthesis by forming a processive complex with the septum-specific peptidoglycan synthases in E. coli, Nature Communications, 2022, 13(1), p5751

Xinxing Yang, Ryan McQuillen, Zhixin Lyu, Polly Phillips-Mason, Ana De La Cruz, Joshua W McCausland, Hai Liang, Kristen E DeMeester, Cintia C Santiago, Catherine L Grimes, Piet de Boer, Jie Xiao, A two-track model for the spatiotemporal coordination of bacterial septal cell wall synthesis revealed by single-molecule imaging of FtsW, Nature microbiology, 2021, 6(5), p584-593

CH Bohrer, X Yang, S Thakur, X Weng, B Tenner, R McQuillen, B Ross, Matthew Wooten, Xin Chen, Jin Zhang, Elijah Roberts, Melike Lakadamyali, Jie Xiao, A pairwise distance distribution correction (DDC) algorithm to eliminate blinking-caused artifacts in SMLM, Nature methods, 2021, 18 (6), 669-677

Weng X, Bohrer CH, Bettridge K, Lagda AC, Cagliero C, Jin DJ, Xiao J. Spatial organization of RNA polymerase and its relationship with transcription in Escherichia coli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Sep 16;. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1903968116

Yang X, Lyu Z, Miguel A, McQuillen R, Huang KC, Xiao J. GTPase activity-coupled treadmilling of the bacterial tubulin FtsZ organizes septal cell wall synthesis. Science. 2017 Feb 17;355(6326):744-747

Coltharp C, Buss J, Plumer TM, Xiao J. Defining the rate-limiting processes of bacterial cytokinesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Feb 23;113(8):E1044-53