Research Bench Lab

Microbiology & Immunology

Kirby Laboratory

Microbiology & Immunology
BSB B2410

General Interests
Bacterial Signal Transduction, Microbial Communities, Predator-Prey Dynamics, Xenobiotic Disruption of Microbiomes

View John R. Kirby Bio
Kirby Lab 2019_Intro Component

Research Areas

Two-Component Signaling
We are taking a systems biology approach to characterize a family of two-component system homologs for their role during biofilm formation and predation by M. xanthus. Our primary area of interest aims to decipher cross-regulation between highly similar pairs of NtrB-NtrC homologs and chemosensory systems for their control of motility and development in M. xanthus.

Predator-Prey Interactions
We are actively investigating interactions between M. xanthus and B. subtilis as a model for predator-prey interactions in vivo. Our primary goal here is to assess the role of production of secondary metabolites on both sides of the predator-prey equation.

We are examining the role of xenobiotics for their capacity to disrupt the gut microbiota with deleterious consequences on metabolism. Currently, we utilize the Illumina platform to obtain 16s rDNA sequence information and analyze those data using QIIME (Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology) open source software. We are employing the use of total calorimetry to assess metabolic defects in mice following perturbation with xenobiotics.

Current Members


Susanne Mueller, PhD

Research Scientist


Stephanie Kellogg

Research Associate II

(414) 955-4101


David Payne, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow


Fatima Saravia

Graduate Student

Recent Publications