Current Research

Structural and biochemical characterization of Hfq homologs

The Hfq protein is a global, post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression in bacteria. First identified as a host factor essential for replication of the Escherichia coli RNA bacteriophage Qβ, Hfq is now known to represent the bacterial branch of a large, functionally diverse family of RNA-associated ‘Sm’ proteins. Over the last decade, Hfq has been linked to biological functions including quorum sensing, biofilm production, and the stabilization of various mRNA and sRNA complexes. Using a combination of biochemical and structural (crystallographic) approaches, my research aims to explore the functional roles of Hfq and Hfq-like proteins in quorum sensing and biofilm formation, particularly in terms of the evolutionary development of these unique biological capabilities.



Curriculum vitae

  • curriculum vitae → PDF




  • Publications

  • J. Patterson, C. Mura (2013) “Rapid Colorimetric Assays to Qualitatively Distinguish RNA and DNA in Biomolecular Samples” J. Vis. Exp. 72 (doi: 10.3791/50225)




  • Conferences

  • Southeastern regional meeting of the American Chemical Society (2012); Raleigh, NC USA
  • Mid-Atlantic Protein Crystallography Meeting (2012); Charlottesville, VA
  • Virginia Academy of Science Annual Meeting (2012); Norfolk State Univ, VA USA
  • Huskey Research Exhibition (2012); Univ of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA USA
  • Southeastern regional meeting of the American Chemical Society (2011); Richmond, VA USA
  • Mid-Atlantic Protein Crystallography Meeting (2011); National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD USA
  • Virginia Academy of Science Annual Meeting (2011); Univ of Richmond, VA USA



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    Jennifer L. Patterson

    jlp7fp@virginia.edu