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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Graduate Studies

Genetics, Cellular & Molecular Sciences Training Grant

Trainee Profile

Katherine Hummels

Photo of Katherine Hummels
Research Image(s)
Peritrichous arrangement of flagella in Bacillus subitilis with stained membrane (red) and flagellar filament (green).

Peritrichous arrangement of flagella in Bacillus subitilis with stained membrane (red) and flagellar filament (green).

Graduate Student
Contact Information
By telephone: 812-856-2559 (lab)
JH 432
Kearns Lab
Program
Department of Biology:
Microbiology
Education
B.S. Microbiology, 2013, University of Iowa
B.A. Studio Art, 2013, University of Iowa
Awards
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention (2014)
University of Iowa Collegiate Scholar Award (2013)
Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels REU (2012)
American Society for Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellow (2011)
Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates Fellow (2011-2013)
Research Description

Many bacterial species make use of propeller-like appendages called flagella to move within their environment. While the bacterial flagellum has been extensively studied in gram-negative microbes such as Escherichia coli, there is a lack of knowledge of its regulation in gram-positive organisms. My research focuses on understanding the regulation of flagellar assembly in the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtlis. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how flagellar placement and number are post-transcriptionally controlled and how these features affect the cell’s interaction with its environment.  Using a combination of genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry, my research will add to our knowledge of bacterial motility as well as post-transcriptional regulation.

Select Publications
Susanne Müller, Jonathan W. Willett, Sarah M. Bahr, Cynthia L. Darnell, Katherine R. Hummels, Carolyn K. Dong, Hera C. Vlamakis, and John R. Kirby. 2013. Draft Genome Sequence of the Myxococcus xanthus Wild-type Strain DZ2, a Model Organism for Predation and Development. Genome Announc. 1:e00217-13
Jonathan W. Willett, Nitija Tiwari, Susanne Müller, Katherine Hummels, Jon Houtman, Ernesto Fuentes, John R. Kirby. 2013. Specificity Residues Determine Binding Affinity for Two-Component Signal Transduction Systems. mBio. 4(6):e00420-13
Select Presentations:
Katherine Hummels and Daniel Kearns. An evolutionarily conserved elongation factor, EF-P, regulates motility in B. subtilis. Molecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages Meeting. Wisconsin, Madison. (Poster, 2014)
Katherine Hummels and John R. Kirby.  Characterization Mutants in a Chemosensory System in the Regulation of Myxococcus xanthus motility and predation. University of Iowa Bacterial Physiology Seminar Series. (Talk, 2013)
Katherine Hummels, Carolyn Dong, and John R. Kirby. Characterization of a Chemosensory Kinase Regulating Gliding and Twitching Motility in Myxococcus xanthus. American Society for Microbiology General meeting. Denver, Colorado. (Poster, 2013)
Katherine Hummels and John R. Kirby. Characterization Mutants in a Chemosensory System in the Regulation of Myxococcus xanthus Predation. Spring Undergraduate Research Festival. Iowa City, Iowa. (Poster competition winner, 2013)
Katherine Hummels, Osmar Carvalho, Gonçalo Pereira, J. Lucas Argueso. Pre-activation of stress response genes in industrial bioethanol yeast strains through modulation of gene expression. Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels Research Experience for Undergraduates Conference. Boulder, Colorado. (Poster Competition Winner, 2012)
Katherine Hummels, Carolyn Dong, and John R. Kirby. Characterization of FrzE Mutants in the Frz Chemosensory System During Regulation of Predation by Myxococcus xanthus. American Society for Microbiology General Meeting. San Francisco, California (Poster, 2012)

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