Research in the Hammer Lab
Our lab studies microbial interactions at scales that span genes and genomes, regulatory networks, cells, populations, and communities. Harmful and beneficial bacteria are genetically encoded with regulatory networks to integrate external information that tailors gene expression to particular niches. Bacteria use chemical signals to orchestrate behaviors that facilitate both cooperation and conflict with members of the communities they inhabit. Our works focuses on the waterborne pathogen Vibrio cholerae, which causes the fatal diarrheal disease cholera in humans and also resides in aquatic settings in association with with other animals and surfaces like crab shells and zooplankton molts composed of chitin.