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Shiladitya  DasSarma

Shiladitya DasSarma Ph.D.

Academic Title: Professor
Primary Appointment: Microbiology and Immunology
Location: Columbus Center, 5047
Phone: (410) 234-8847
Fax: (410) 234-8861

Personal History:


1979, B.S., Chemistry (Honors), Department of Chemistry, Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN

1984, Ph.D., Biochemistry, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

1984-1986, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Professional Experience

1986-2001: Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

2001-2010: Professor, Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, MD

2010-present: Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Research Interests:

Our research interests include broadly the fields of microbiology, genomics, and biotechnology of Archaea. We utilize model systems to study fundamental processes, such as DNA replication, transcription, and gene regulation, in order to understand the remarkable ability of Archaea to survive in a wide range of environments, from the human microbiome to novel extreme environments. Recent efforts have been directed at developing transcriptomic, CGH, and genetic knockout technology for analysis of genome functions. After leading the genome project on Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, which was published in 2000, our efforts have focused on genes specifying the buoyant gas vesicles and resistance to arsenic, both of which are plasmid-borne. We mapped the replication origins for the large chromosome and megaplasmids, revealing a complex relationship between members of the large eukaryotic-like origin recognition complex (ORC) family and cis-acting genomic regions. Transcriptomic studies have analyzed the consequence of exposure to a variety of environmental perturbations, and together with genetic studies have revealed a novel mechanism of gene regulation using the multiple TBP and TFB transcription factors similar to metazoa. We have also developed bioinformatics tools and databases for genome annotation, comparative genomics, and global gene regulation studies.


DasSarma, S., et al. (eds). 1995. Archaea: A Laboratory Manual - Halophiles, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY.

DasSarma, S. 2004. "Genome sequence of an extremely halophilic archaeon," in Microbial Genomes, pp. 383-399, C.M. Fraser, T. Read, and K.E. Nelson (eds.), Humana Press, Inc, Totowa, NJ.

DasSarma, S. 2006. Extreme halophiles are models for astrobiology. Microbe 1:120-127.

DasSarma, S. 2007. Extreme microbes. American Scientist 95:224-231 (cover feature).

DasSarma, S., J.A. Coker, and P. DasSarma. 2010. "Archaea - Overview." In Desk Encyclopedia of Microbiology, 2nd edition, Academic Press, M. Schaechter (ed.), p. 118-139.

Slonczewski, J., Coker, J.A., and S. DasSarma. 2010. Microbial growth under multiple stressors. Microbe 5: 110-116.

Karan R, Capes MD, DasSarma S. 2012. Function and biotechnology of extremophilic enzymes in low water activity. Aquatic Biosystems 8:4.

DasSarma, S. and P. DasSarma 2012. "Halophiles." In Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, Wiley, London.