Return to:   University of Hawaii at Manoa   |   Department of Microbiology     
People:

Dana HuntDana Hunt
2565 McCarthy Mall, Keller Hall 301
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-0923 (phone)
(808) 956-0925 (fax)
danahunt@hawaii.edu

Education

Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.A. Biochemistry and Environmental Engineering 2001 Rice University

Research Summary

Metabolic modeling serves to integrate genome sequencing as well as microarray, proteomic, and molecular biology studies, facilitating comparison of bacterial metabolic capabilities and diversity.  My research focuses on metabolic modeling of bacterial pathogens; small changes in gene content or regulation can have large impacts on the host range or severity of a disease.  Currently, I am working on two projects (1) modeling the regulation of biofilm development in pathogens and (2) using metabolic pathways to aid in comparison and annotation of new bacterial genomes.  These bioinformatics predictions will be used to guide further laboratory experiments.  Specifically, I am interested in the role and maintenance of virulence properties such as biofilm formation and toxin production in organisms that have environmental populations (e.g. Salmonella).  Are these organisms largely opportunistic pathogens with “virulence” determinants serving alternate environmental roles such as colonization of abiotic surfaces or are such genes only active in a (human) host?    

Selected Publications

Hunt DE, D Gevers, NM Vahora, & MF Polz (2008) Conservation of the chitin utilization pathway in the Vibrionaceae.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology  74(1), 44-51.

Polz MF, DE Hunt, SP Preheim, & DM Weinreich (2006) Patterns and mechanisms of genetic and phenotypic differentiation on marine microbes.  Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 361, 2009-2021.

Hunt DE, V Klepac-Ceraj, SG Acinas, C Gauthier, S Bertilson, & MF Polz (2006)  Evaluation of 23S rRNA PCR primers for use in phylogenetic studies of bacterial diversity.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology  72, 2221-2225.

Acinas SG, V Klepac-Ceraj, DE Hunt, C Pharino, I Ceraj, DL Distel, & MF Polz (2004) Fine scale phylogenetic architecture of a complex bacterial community.  Nature 430, 551-554.

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