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Frederick C. Neidhardt

F. G. Novy Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology
Ph.D Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 1956

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Bacterial Growth Physiology; Molecular Biology of Gene Expression

Intrigued by growth as the unique property of living systems, I was captivated upon first observing, early on in graduate school, the speed, efficiency, and adaptability of the growth of bacterial cells such as Escherichia coli. I resolved to learn all I could about how cells grow, and to do so by exploring the physiology of bacteria.

Early research on catabolite repression led directly to an interest in controls that operate on groups of unlinked genes, and in regulation of gene expression as a function of growth rate, including the regulation of ribosomal RNA synthesis and the so-called stringent response that governs many operons. In exploring how E. coli adjusts its content of ribosomes and other components of the protein synthetic apparatus to match its potential growth rate, we introduced the use of temperature-sensitive mutants to study bacterial genes that have growth essential functions. Later we initiated the first global studies of the proteome of E. coli, by measuring the profile of synthesis of individual proteins in response to environmental stress and growth rate changes. In this way we discovered the bacterial heat shock response, and defined the existence of stress response regulons and stimulons.

I have served as Editor-in-Chief of both editions of the two-volume treatise, Escherichia coli and Salmonella:Cellular and Molecular Biology (ASM Press). Currently I am engaged in three projects. One is the development of an electronic edition (EcoSal) of the E. coli/Salmonella treatise; it is a web-based means to facilitate scholarly interpretation of current knowledge about these organisms combined with global access to all the data known about them (www.ecosal.org/ecosal/index.jsp). The second project is authoring a general microbiological textbook with my colleagues John Ingraham (UC-Davis) and Moselio Schaechter (SDSU). Finally, I currently serve as President of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology (www.waksmanfoundation.org) .

Selected Publications:

Neidhardt, F. C., J. Ingraham, and M. Schaechter. 1990. Physiology of the Bacterial Cell: A Molecular Approach. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. 520 pages.

Nystrom, T., and F. C. Neidhardt. 1994. Expression and role of the universal stress protein, UspA, of Escherichia coli during growth arrest. Molecular Microbiology 11:537-544.

Neidhardt, F. C. (Ed. in Chief), R. Curtiss III, J. L. Ingraham, E. C. C. Lin, K. B. Low, B. Magasanik, W. S. Reznikoff, M. Riley, M. Schaechter, and H. E. Umbarger (eds). 1996. Escherichia coli and Salmonella: Cellular and Molecular Biology. American Society for Microbiology. 2 vols. 2898 pages.

VanBogelen, R. A., E. R. Olson, B. L. Wanner, and F. C. Neidhardt. 1996. Global analysis of proteins synthesized during phosphorus restriction in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 178:4344-4366.

VanBogelen, R. A., K. Z. Abshire, B. Moldover, E. R. Olson, and F. C. Neidhardt. 1997. Escherichia coli proteome analysis using the gene-protein database. Electrophoresis 18:1243-1251.

VanBogelen, R. A., E. E. Schiller, J. D. Thomas, and F. C. Neidhardt. 1999. Diagnosis of cellular states of microbial organisms using proteomics. Electrophoresis 20:2149-2159.

Neidhardt, F. C. 1999 Bacterial growth: constant obsession with dN/dt. J. Bacteriol. 181:7405-7408.