Tao Dong

Tier II Canada Research Chair in Molecular Ecology

Waterborne Microbes Ecosystem and Public Health (EPH)

Associate Professor

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Adjunct Professor

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)


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Dong Lab

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Research and teaching

Research Activities

Dr. Dong is interested in the molecular adaptation mechanisms by which bacteria survive in stress environment and interact with competing species. Bacteria have developed complex regulatory networks that control gene expression to respond to different environmental stimuli from the host and the environment. Dr. Dong will use cutting-edge genomic tools such as Tn-seq, ChIP-seq, and RNA-seq to characterize key regulators and cognate targets that are important for adaptation under specific environment.

Bacteria often exist in complex communities in nature. An important adaptation strategy in a polymicrobial environment is to attack competing species for invasion or self-defense through delivery of toxic molecules. Dr. Dong will work on the Type Six Secretion System (T6SS) that has been found in many human pathogens including Vibrio choleraePseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella species. T6SS is a bacteriophage-like nanomachine that injects antibacterial or anti-eukaryotic effectors to target cells through direct contact. Dr. Dong is interested in characterizing T6SS-dependent effectors and their contribution to fitness and interaction with eukaryotic and prokaryotic competitors.

Research Personnel: 

  • Xiaoye Liang, Research Associate
  • Steven Hersch, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Le Tang, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Brianne Burkinshaw, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Silvina Stietz, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Fatima Kamal, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Megan Wong, MSc Graduate Student
  • Kevin Manera, Graduate Student

Biography

PubMed