I am using a combination of theoretical and experimental techniques to elucidate microbial biochemical network usage strategies as a response to environmental stresses. The goal is to understand what stresses have influenced the evolution of an organism and to determine what adaptations the organism has made to remain competitive. The knowledge will be used to engineer microbial strains for biotechnological processes and for interpreting proteomic and genomic data.
Many microbes construct complex 3-dimentional, polymer encapsulated communities known as biofilms. The physical and phenotypic properties of these biofilm communities make them very resistant to common antimicrobial strategies like antibiotics. Biofilms are major problems in a number of industries including the medical field. It has been estimated that 80% of human infections are related to biofilms. I am developing surface coating strategies in collaboration with the Center for Biofilm Engineering to inhibit or to prevent the formation of biofilms on surfaces like those found on medically implanted devices.
Carlson, R.P., Taffs, R., Davison, W.M., Stewart, P.S. (2008) Anti-biofilm properties of chitosan coated surfaces. Journal of Biomaterials Science: Polymer Edition. 19: 1035-1046.
Carlson, R.P. (2007) Metabolic systems cost-benefit analysis for interpreting network structure and regulation. Bioinformatics. 23: 1258-1264.
Carlson, R., Srienc, F. (2006) Gene dosage effects on polyhydroxyalkanoate production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Biotechnology. 124: 561-573.
Carlson, R., Wlaschin, A., Srienc, F. (2005) Kinetic studies and biochemical pathway analysis of anaerobic poly(R)-3-hydroxybutyric acid synthesis in Escherichia coli. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 71: 713-720.
Carlson, R., Srienc, F. (2004) Fundamental Escherichia coli biochemical pathways for biomass and maintenance energy production: Identification of pathways. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 85(1): 1-19.
Carlson, R., Srienc, F. (2004) Fundamental Escherichia coli biochemical pathways for biomass and maintenance energy production: Creation of overall flux states. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 86(2): 149-162.
Carlson, R., Fell, D., Srienc, F. (2002) Metabolic pathway analysis of a recombinant yeast for rational strain development. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 79(2): 121-134.