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Welcome to the Vargas-Rodriguez Lab

We are a Molecular Bacteriology Lab studying the molecular bases that enable pathogenic bacteria to endure, acclimate, and prevail in the unwelcoming conditions of their host. Our research seeks to understand how bacterial pathogens regulate protein synthesis (translation) in response to interactions with their host, especially during colonization and infection.

Our research focuses on the function of a family of translation factors known as aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS). These enzymes are indispensable for life as they are responsible for the accurate and efficient translation of the genetic code during gene expression. We aim to understand the biological role of aaRSs during host-pathogen interactions as potential virulence factors and druggable targets using a combination of biochemical, biophysical, molecular, cellular, multi-omics, and computational approaches.

In addition to our commitment to rigorous and innovative research, we strive to create a collegial and inclusive environment wherein our team trainees are supported and empowered to accomplish their career goals.