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E. coli and Yeast

Shigella flexneri viewed after live/dead staining


Microbiology is the study of single-celled organisms and non-living infectious particles (e.g. viruses and prions). Despite their small size, microorganisms make up about 50% of the Earth`s biomass. Microbes inhabited the planet long before eukaryotes (plants, animals, and fungi), it is therefore not surprising that microbes carry out key roles in the biogeochemical cycles and have major impacts on human and animal health. Today, microbes are used in a wide variety of industries.

Electron micrograph of Pseudomonas fluorescens

Figure 1: Images of microbes A: Mixed culture of E. coli and S. cerevisiae stained with DAPI and a FISH probe for eukaryotic cells; B: Shigella flexneri stained with BacLIGHTTM dyes; C: EM of Pseudomonas fluorescens

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) has a growing group of microbiologists who are looking into various aspects of the microbial world. We have close associations with other microbiologists who work in the Las Vegas area, making UNLV an exciting place to study microbiology. The NSF funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program provides undergraduates students with the opportunity to perform microbiology research over the summer at UNLV. To find out more, click on one of the buttons below.





Link to Microbiology Research at UNLV

Link to Micro Courses Page

Link to Life Sciences Homepage

Link to UNLV's Grad Admission Page






Links to Upcoming events:

Link to ASM Branch Website

Link to Wind River Meeting Website

Link to REU Program Info




Faculty in School of Life Sciences at UNLV






Brian Hedlund (School of Life Sciences, UNLV)



Dr. Hedlund uses molecular microbial community surveys to drive attempts to cultivate and study novel hyperthermophilic (extremely heat-loving) Bacteria and Archaea from Nevada hot springs and other geothermal environments. A second research focus looks into evolutionary and natural historical relationships between mammals and their microbial commensals using the oral flora of desert mammals as an example.




Duane Moser (DRI; Adjunct in Biological Sciences)



Dr. Moser studies microbes in a variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, ranging from the deep terrestrial subsurface to sediments,

springs and soils. Moser's approach to microbiology is multidisciplinary, involving contributions from oceanographers and limnologists, hydrologists, and geologists.




Joseph Nika (College of Sciences, UNLV)



Dr. Joseph Nika is the Pre-Health Advisor for the College of Sciences. His specialties include Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Medical Microbiology. Dr. Nika does not have a research program and does not take graduate students.




Kathryn Rafferty (School of Life Sciences, UNLV)

Dr. Rafferty (Associate Professor in Residence) has a background in cell biology and genetics, particularly related to the heart and cardiovascular system. Dr. Rafferty currently teaches Immunology and Introductory Biology. Dr. Raffety does not have a research program and does not take graduate students.



Kurt Regner (School of Life Sciences, UNLV)


Dr. Kurt Regner (Professor in Residence) has a strong background in Biotechnology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology. Dr. Regner does not have a research program and does not take graduate students.




Eduardo Robleto (School of Life Sciences, UNLV)


The Robleto lab studies how Bacillus subtilis changes its genetic make up to withstand stationary/starving conditions. One process known to influence the accumulation of mutations in stressed B. subtilis cells is that of transcription. Particularly, the repair factor Mfd, a protein that mediates transcription-coupled repair, promotes the formation of point mutations in stressed cells. Our research focuses on elucidating the mutagenic mechanisms promoted by Mfd. These processes are novel and contribute to our view of the evolutionary process.




Christy Strong (School of Life Sciences, UNLV)

Dr Strong (Associate Professor in Residence) has a strong background in molecular biology as well as HIV structure and function. Dr. Strong currently teaches introductory biology courses as well as Virology. Dr. Strong does not have a research program and does not take graduate students.


Boo Shan Tseng (School of Life Sciences, UNLV)

The Tseng lab is interested in biofilm formation of the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We focus on the proteins of the protective, self-produced matrix that encase the biofilm bacteria. Using techniques in proteomics, genetics, molecular biology, and microscopy, we study the function of these matrix proteins in biofilm formation and antimicrobial tolerance.




Helen J. Wing (School of Life Sciences., UNLV)


The Wing lab studies the bacterial pathogen Shigella flexneri. Research focuses on mechanisms of virulence gene regulation, how this interfaces with nucleoid structuring and DNA compaction, the sub-cellular localization of regulatory proteins and the extreme acid resistance of Shigella, a trait that plays a major role in the infectiousness of this pathogen.






Other Microbiologists in the Las Vegas area




Ernesto Abel-Santos (Dept. of Chemistry, UNLV)




Jaci Batista (Civil & Env. Eng., UNLV)




Mark Buttner (Department of Environmental and Occupational Health)




Patricia Cruz (Department of Environmental and Occupational Health)




Kumud Acharya (DRI)




Henry Sun (DRI)




Mahboob Qureshi (Touro University , Henderson)





Azliyati Azizan (Touro University)

Karen Duus (Touro University)

Terry Else (Touro University)

Amy Stone (Touro University)

David James (Civil & Env. Eng., UNLV)

Heidi Porter (CSN)

Deborah Harbor (CSN)