Welcome to the web site for the research lab headed by Laura Runyen-Janecky, Professor of Biology in the Department of Biology at the University of Richmond. We have a Facebook page is and we have a new instagram account at rj_lab_sodalis on instagram. If you are looking for Laura’s personal web site, click here. For her C.V., click here.
Many bacteria, especially symbiotic bacteria, are exposed to a variety of environments during their lifecycles. These environments may be both inside and outside the host, and particular signals in these environments may activate expression of genes that result in changes that allow the bacterium to cope more effectively with the specific environment. One of the current aims of research in the R-J lab is to understand how bacteria survive in many distinct environments, including those encountered during the course of interaction with the host, by identifying and characterizing genes that are expressed in each environment. We have done this by taking a molecular genetic approach using facultative intracellular bacterial species. Previously, we used Shigella flexneri, the causative agent of shigellosis, as a model system. We currently study Sodalis glossinidius, a secondary symbiont of the tsetse fly, in the lab. We are just starting to develop projects in the area of food microbiology, specifically studying cheese microbes.