TEXARKANA, Texas – Texas A&M University-Texarkana Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Sebastian Schmidl was recently published in nature chemical biology along with several research colleagues from Rice University. The article, titled Rewiring bacterial two-component systems by modular DNA-binding domain swapping was the result of research carried out at Rice University that took nearly 6 years to complete.
Schmidl, who coordinates the biology program and teaches at the Texas A&M System’s Rellis campus in Bryan, worked on the project at Rice from 2013-2015 and continued to work with the team on experimental design, data analysis, and writing the final paper after moving on to teach in the Texas A&M System.
The researchers conducted thousands of experiments to show they could systematically rewire two-component systems, the genetic circuits bacteria use to sense their surroundings and listen to their neighbors. The team of biologists hacked bacterial sensing with a plug-and-play system that could be used to mix and match tens of thousands of sensory inputs and genetic outputs. The technology has wide-ranging implications for medical diagnostics, the study of deadly pathogens, environmental monitoring, and more. The full article about the study can be found at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41589-019-0286-6.
Dr. Schmidl has a Master of Science in Biology and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Gottingen in Gottingen, Germany. He was an Assistant Professor of Biology at Texas A&M International University from 2015-2018 before becoming the Assistant Professor of Biology and Coordinator of the Biology Program at Rellis.
The Rellis campus in Bryan is home to an academic alliance between several Texas A&M System regional universities and the Blinn College District. Designed to provide a seamless educational experience in one unique location, students can begin their studies in the newly opened Blinn College District’s Walter C. Schwartz Building. Students are then able to transfer to one of the A&M System regional universities onsite in a variety of subjects. Inaugural classes at Rellis began in the fall of 2018.