Stephen Busby

Colleges, School and Institutes

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Steve Busby’s work concerns the mechanisms by which the expression of different genes is regulated in bacteria. Working with Escherichia coli K-12, the lab has elucidated some of the basic rules of promoter recognition by RNA polymerase and some of the fundamental mechanisms by which transcription activators function. The work with RNA polymerase has focused on the roles of the alpha and sigma subunits, whilst the work on transcription activation has developed from studies of the cyclic AMP receptor protein (known as CRP or CAP), which have established a paradigm for understanding transcription activation in bacteria. Early work with CRP, and with the related activator, FNR, was concerned with simple promoters, such as the E. colilac or gal promoters, where one molecule of activator is sufficient for full induction. Recently, the lab has turned its attention to more complicated promoters that are regulated by many different factors. Because bacterial gene expression is exquisitely sensitive to the environment, the lab has focused on complex cases where one molecule of activator is insufficient for full induction.