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Our lab is interested in understanding the mechanistic forces that shape interactions between animals and bacteria. We are an interdisciplinary research group that utilizes a wide range of approaches to tackle this problem, including structural biology, biochemistry, microbiology, and even field work. Our current interests include: 1) the structural basis of how the bacterial cell wall is recognized by antibacterial enzymes, and 2) the role of cell wall-degrading enzymes in pathogen transmission by the tick disease vector, Ixodes scapularis. Together, these focus areas provide insight into how molecular interactions influence the nature and specificity of organismal interactions.