Gray Lab

Welcome to the Gray laboratory

We are part of the Department of Microbiology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. The mission of our lab is twofold: 1) to make novel discoveries in bacterial physiology, regulation, and stress response, and 2) to train rigorous, creative, and collaborative microbiologists.

We use a combination of genetic, genomic, and biochemical techniques to study how bacteria sense and respond to their environments. We are particularly interested in the molecular biology of the symbiotic and probiotic bacteria that make up the healthy microbiome. Our current research focuses on the bacterial response to reactive chlorine stress and on how inorganic polyphosphate is regulated in response to that and other stresses. Reactive chlorine compounds, like hypochlorous acid (the active ingredient in household bleach) are powerful antimicrobial oxidants produced by the immune system during inflammation. Polyphosphate is a key component in many bacterial stress responses, and is required for virulence in diverse pathogens. We are working to identify new regulators, proteins, and pathways that may influence the interactions between bacteria and their human or animal hosts. For more information and for details on specific projects ongoing in the lab, see our Research page.

The Gray lab is dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and we promote and recognize principles of fairness and equity in relation to, and across, intersections of race, age, color, disability, faith, religion, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, social class, economic class, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, and all other identities represented among our diverse communities.


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UAB Department of Microbiology
654 Bevill Biomedical Research Building
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294

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