University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
The Tamayo Lab studies how facultative pathogenic bacteria adapt to disparate and changing extracellular conditions. Specifically, we are interested in a bacterial second messenger that transmits signals received at the cell surface and controls a wide variety of adaptive responses. This signaling molecule, c-di-GMP, is ubiquitous in bacteria and often regulates the switch between motile and non-motile lifestyles in many bacterial species. In many cases, the non-motile phase involves development of a microbial community called a biofilm. In some bacteria, including the intestinal pathogens Vibrio cholerae and Clostridium difficile, c-di-GMP also regulates virulence factor production. We aim to understand the molecular mechanisms by which c-di-GMP influences the virulence of these bacteria and how this impacts disease outcome.