Project Team

Bob Bourret

Bob Bourret

Bob earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a graduate student, Bob studied lysogen formation by the transposable bacteriophage Mu in the lab of National Academy of Science and Institute of Medicine member Maury Fox. Bob returned to Caltech for studies on bacterial chemotaxis in the lab of National Academy of Science member Mel Simon, where he was supported by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship. Bob is currently a Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at UNC Chapel Hill, where he has been a faculty member since 1992 and has served as Director of Graduate Studies since 2009. Bob was elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2020.

Research in the Bourret lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction by two-component regulatory systems, which are found in bacteria, archaea, fungi, and plants but not mammals and are therefore believed to be suitable targets for new anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Much of our research involves identifying and dissecting factors that control the kinetics of protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation reactions. We exploit abundant protein sequence information to drive design of experiments that explore key characteristics of entire protein families rather than individual proteins. We also use our expertise in biochemistry and biophysics to collaborate with other research groups at UNC, including READDI-AC.

Bob is Chair of the Board of Directors of Bacterial Locomotion And Signal Transduction, Inc., a non-profit corporation that hosts an international scientific conference every two years.

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