Landick Lab: Discovering and harnessing diverse mechanisms of gene regulation with diverse perspectives and approaches.
Hero image #2 with an illustration of RNA polymerase, version with text that reads: The Cell’s CPU: RNA Polymerase; RNA polymerase reads instructions from DNA and the cell that tell it how to express genetic information by pausing RNA synthesis at control sites.
Hero image #3 featuring an illustration of chromatin, version with text that reads: Transcription of Bacterial Chromatin; Bacterial genes are packaged by diverse chromatin proteins that govern gene expression. Unlike the relatively uniform nucleosomes in eukaryotes, multiple unrelated bacterial chromatin proteins impact gene expression via complex structures that remain poorly understood.
Hero image #4 featuring an illustration of the expressome, version with text that reads: Translating ribosomes and transcribing RNA polymerases talk to each other to coordinate the synthesis of functional mRNAs. Communication involves multiple mechanisms, including a direct-contact “expressome” interface, but the way information is exchanged is poorly understood.

RNA polymerase is the central enzyme of gene expression in all free-living organisms. We seek to understand how the fundamental properties of RNA polymerase, largely conserved from bacteria to human, make it susceptible to pausing, arrest, or termination and how elongation regulators, nucleoprotein structures, and metabolic, developmental, and environmental signals alter these properties.

We study the mechanisms by which gene expression by RNA polymerase is regulated and can be re-programmed for biodesign, and how these basic research advances can be applied to microbial biotechnology and to antibiotic discovery. Members of our lab develop and apply expertise from a variety of scientific disciplines, including genetics, biomolecular chemistry, synthetic biology, systems biology, biophysics, and structural biology, to both individual and collaborative projects.


  • Welcome to our new graduate students!

    Four new graduate students have joined our lab! Welcome to Trevor Rowray (CMB), Alice Kang (Biophysics), Siwei Qian (Biophysics), and Atharv Garje (Genetics).

  • Landick and Venturelli labs joint publication featured in “Research in Brief”

    Our lab’s recent publication “Single-cell analysis of multiple invertible promoters reveals differential inversion rates as a strong determinant of bacterial population heterogeneity,” a joint effort with members of the Venturelli lab was featured in the …

  • Congratulations to Dr. Yu Bao!

    Yu Bao successfully defended his thesis “Sequence insertion 3 of Escherichia coli RNA polymerase regulates transcriptional pausing” on July 27. Congratulations! He will soon start a postdoctoral fellowship in Europe.