How do organisms make such amazing and complex structures out of such simple building blocks? Our lab focuses on discovering the fundamental mechanisms by which self-assembly happens across a wide range of spatial scales, from atoms and metabolites to proteins and polymers to cells and communities. For example, by assembling nanometer-sized proteins into micron-sized cytoskeletal polymers, bacteria make the measurements necessary to achieve their characteristic shapes. We focus our attention on the cell biology of bacteria, whose awesome experimental power allows us to attack questions with an integrated combination of genetics, biochemistry, microscopy, genomics, quantitative analysis, and computation. Our interdisciplary efforts are aided by our wonderful group of Princeton friends and collaborators..
Thomas Laboratory, 355
Bacterial cell biology: fundamentals of cytoskeletal dynamics, polarity, and mitosis