Faculty Colloquium: Melissa Marks

Please join us on Thursday, October 8, at 4:10 p.m. at this URL:


for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Title: Functional Annotation of TonB Dependent Receptors Involved in Stress Resistance – Results and Reflections from a Cross-Institutional Collaboration

Presenter: Melissa Marks, Associate Professor of Biology

Melissa Marks

Abstract:  Vitamins and minerals are critical for proper functioning of all living organisms. Maintaining the proper balance of minerals, or metal ions, is critical for resistance to stress caused by normal metabolic processes. In Gram negative bacteria, metal transport across the outer membrane is often facilitated by members of a diverse and poorly understood family of surface proteins known as TonB-Dependent Receptors/Transporters (TBDRs). In the aquatic bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, multiple lines of evidence suggest that several predicted, but uncharacterized, TBDRs are important for metal ion homeostasis. In collaboration Lisa Bowers, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Biology, St. Olaf College) and our students, we are in the process of functionally annotating this group of TBDRs by characterizing their substrates, physiological roles, and genetic regulation. In this presentation, I will provide a big picture overview of our scientific endeavors. I’ll also share my reflections on establishing a new cross-institution collaboration and some of the unexpected benefits of doing collaborative science in an undergraduate research environment.

Bill Kelm and Kathryn Nyman
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators