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Miriam Susskind

Professor of Biological Sciences

Contact Information
E-mail: susskind@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-5553
Office: ZHS 470


Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Susskind's research focuses on the detailed understanding of the mechanisms that regulate gene expression in prokaryotes. A key step in gene expression is the initiation of transcription by RNA polymerase (RNAP) at specific DNA sites (promoters). She previously isolated and characterized a large number of mutations in one promoter that decrease or increase its activity. This analysis allowed her to assess the contribution to promote strength of individual base pairs. Professor Susskind's other experiments are aimed at understanding how RNAP responds to activators (proteins that stimulate transcription from certain promoters). Currently, professor Susskind is isolating and characterizing two kinds of RNAP mutants: polymerases that fail to respond to a specific activator protein; and polymerases that acquire the ability to respond to a mutant activator. She hopes these studies shed light on the nature of the interaction that occurs between the wild-type RNAP and wild-type activator protein.

Honors and Awards

USC Associates Award For Creativity In Research And Scholarship, 1992  
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