I am carrying out my thesis work in Johan Paulsson’s lab in the Systems Biology department at the Harvard Medical School campus. In my project, I want to determine how plasmids’ self-encoded replication and partitioning systems prevent plasmid loss during cell division and minimize variance in copy number among bacteria cells. The second component of my project is to elucidate the molecular mechanism of the R1 partitioning system (parMRC). The biochemical interactions of the system components have been well-characterized in vitro, however it has remained unclear how the whole population of plasmids is segregated over time in a bacterium. I am eager to visualize, describe, and probe the partitioning mechanism in vivo.