Professor Emerita

Barbara Funnell

Molecular Genetics


MaRS West Tower
661 University Avenue, Room 1632, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1M1

Plasmid and Chromosome Dynamics in Bacteria

The faithful segregation of a full complement of chromosomes to every cell at cell division is a fundamental problem for all organisms. We study the molecular mechanisms that segregate, or "partition", bacterial plasmids. Our system is the P1 plasmid in Escherichia coli, because it is a genetically and biochemically tractable model for the most predominant type of partition system in bacteria, called the ParABS system. It is used both by plasmids as well as the cellular chromosomes of many bacterial species. We study the system in plasmids because plasmids play important roles in the physiology and pathogenicity of bacteria, notably containing genes for virulence and antibiotic resistance that can have a large impact on human health. Our goal is to understand how it occurs, how it is regulated, and how this knowledge might help the treatment of bacterial disease.

Courses taught:

  •  MGY314H1: Principles of Genetic Analysis I
  • MGY311Y1: Molecular Biology

Look for Dr. Funnell on Temerty Medicine Connect