Welcome to the Hart lab!
We are engaged in an arms race with pathogens. And we’re losing. Just as quickly as we can develop new antibiotics or antiviral treatments, resistant strains emerge – often within the year. Evolution, it turns out, doesn’t always take eons. In fact, we are watching microbes evolve in real time in clinics, on farms and in the natural environment, which gives us the opportunity to both study how evolution occurs on short timescales and learn how to combat drug resistance.
My lab studies how drug resistance evolves at the molecular level with a particular focus on protein stability. Many forms of drug resistance depend upon a small number of mutations that result in changes to a protein’s amino acid sequence. By investigating how these changes affect protein structure, stability and function, we can begin to understand how evolution works at the molecular level and leverage these insights to inform the design and implementation of new drug treatments.
About Professor HART
Professor Hart is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Williams College. Her research focuses on understanding the role of protein structure and stability in evolving drug resistance to antibiotics and antiretroviral therapies. She received her B.S. in Biology from Haverford College in 2004 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California, Berkeley in 2013. When she’s not puzzling over the mysteries of protein evolution, she likes to apply her lab skills to projects in the kitchen (experiments you can eat!) and consume dystopian fiction (which might explain her fixation on the next plague).