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Research Associate

Kritika Gupta

Research Associate

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I did my PhD at the Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. The research broadly entailed elucidating the determinants of protein structure, stability, and function through development of methodologies that allow rapid construction and screening of large variant libraries. Deep mutational scanning of the Toxin-Antitoxin (TA) gene pair in bacteria enhanced the understanding of how mutations affect phenotype and allowed us to predict fitness outcomes of point mutations in other systems. These observations have important implications in the field of TA biology, because TA systems are ubiquitous, highly regulated and are known to be involved in multiple functions including drug tolerance. Toxin-antitoxin systems are typically expressed at very low levels in the cell and serve as nice models to understand the role of cellular heterogeneity in controlling bacterial stress physiology. But such cellular heterogeneity is often masked in studies conducted at population level and requires monitoring of phenotypes at single cell level.

My research at the Cluzel lab involves studying the physical constraints of the toxin-antitoxin transcriptional regulation with the use of a microfluidic mother-machine set up where thousands of single cells could be imaged for many generations under constant exponential growth condition. I’m further interested in development of methods to study the evolution of drug resistance at both molecular and cellular levels.