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Scot Ouellette, Ph.D.

Scot.Ouellette@usd.edu

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Position:

  • Assistant Professor, Basic Biomedical Sciences
  • USD Sanford School of Medicine

Education:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Imperial College London
  • Pasteur Foundation Fellow, Institut Pasteur
  • Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Tennessee
  • B.S., Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin
  • B.S., Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin

Current Research:

  • Cell Division

    Chlamydia is amongst the rare bacteria that lack the critical cell division protein FtsZ, and how these organisms manage to divide in its absence is an intriguing and unanswered question. We have recently shown that Chlamydia may use an alternate protein, MreB, to substitute for FtsZ (Ouellette et al., 2012). Our current project goals are (i) to determine if the Mre system in Chlamydia is a functional substitute for FtsZ, (ii) to characterize its interactions with the known chlamydial cell division proteins, and (iii) to identify novel chlamydial division proteins and regulators that interact with MreB using a system for monitoring protein-protein interactions in bacteria (Ouellette et al., 2014).

  • Chlamydial Persistence

    Most bacteria respond to amino acid limitation by engaging a stringent response, which is a transcriptional program used to adapt to nutrient-poor conditions. Chlamydia lacks the genes necessary for implementing a stringent response. We have previously shown (Ouellette et al., 2006) that Chlamydia has an unusual response to tryptophan limitation: it globally increases transcription while translation is globally decreased. This disconnect between transcription and translation is unusual in bacteria. Our goals are to understand how and why Chlamydia responds in this way.