Additional lab spaces

Three additional floors of lab support space

Graduating seniors recognized for their excellence

Waksman advisees to be recognized during commencement.

Waksman Funded Projects

A list of currently funded research projects as reported by various funding sources.

Areas of Research

Maize, Drosophila, C. Elegans, Mice, Tobacco, Yeast, E.coli, Algae and more.


Methods and Tools to aid researchers.

Located on Busch Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the Waksman Institute of Microbiology is an interdisciplinary research institute devoted to excellence in basic research. Focus areas include developmental biology, cell biology, biochemistry, structural biology, genetics, and genomics.

To support the educational mission of Rutgers, Waksman faculty members hold appointments in academic departments throughout the university. Our researchers train undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows, as well as engage high school students in research through an outreach program.

Latest News

“Once I entered Rutgers in 2013, I felt like I need to be involved in research because it was calling me,” he said.

Chris Wakim’s odyssey took him from Alexandria, Egypt, to Bergen Community College to Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where he will graduate next month with a double major in microbiology and the biotechnology concentration in bioinformatics.

By Deborah Walsh, Suburban Trends
Although some students might relish a respite from the most challenging of school work over the summer months, a couple of Kinnelon High School (KHS) students seized an opportunity to conduct high level scientific research at the Waksman Student Scholars Program (WSSP) Summer Institute at Rutgers University.

Madelaine Travaille, the school district's science supervisor, said a science research club was started at KHS in the 2015-16 school year.


Karl Maramorosch, 101, professor emeritus, Department of Entomology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, passed away of natural causes on May 9, 2016, during a visit to Poland.

Rutgers Today Media Contact: Todd B. Bates

Ten Rutgers professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor conferred on 381 other experts in the U.S. and abroad.

The fellows were chosen by their AAAS peers for efforts to advance science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished, according to the AAAS.

Andrea Gallavotti, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at the Waksman Institute, is a Co-PI of a recently awarded five-year collaborative grant. The project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and titled “Genomic and Synthetic Approaches Linking Auxin Signaling Modules to Functional Domains in Maize”, seeks to understand how auxin signaling regulates the formation of specific functional domains in maize inflorescences (

Discovered in bacteria as viral defense mechanism, researchers program C2c2 to manipulate cellular RNA using CRISPR

Recent Publications

Vvedenskaya, IO, Bird JG, Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Jiao X, Barvík I, Krásný L, Kiledjian M, Taylor DM, Ebright RH et al..  2018.  CapZyme-Seq Comprehensively Defines Promoter-Sequence Determinants for RNA 5' Capping with NAD.. Molecular cell. 70(3):553-564. Abstract
Nucleoside-containing metabolites such as NAD can be incorporated as 5' caps on RNA by serving as non-canonical initiating nucleotides (NCINs) for transcription initiation by RNA polymerase (RNAP). Here, we report CapZyme-seq, a high-throughput-sequencing method that employs NCIN-decapping enzymes NudC and Rai1 to detect and quantify NCIN-capped RNA. By combining CapZyme-seq with multiplexed transcriptomics, we determine efficiencies of NAD capping by Escherichia coli RNAP for ∼16,000 promoter sequences. The results define preferred transcription start site (TSS) positions for NAD capping and define a consensus promoter sequence for NAD capping: HRRASWW (TSS underlined). By applying CapZyme-seq to E. coli total cellular RNA, we establish that sequence determinants for NCIN capping in vivo match the NAD-capping consensus defined in vitro, and we identify and quantify NCIN-capped small RNAs (sRNAs). Our findings define the promoter-sequence determinants for NCIN capping with NAD and provide a general method for analysis of NCIN capping in vitro and in vivo.
Lin, W, Das K, Degen D, Mazumder A, Duchi D, Wang D, Ebright YW, Ebright RY, Sineva E, Gigliotti M et al..  2018.  Structural Basis of Transcription Inhibition by Fidaxomicin (Lipiarmycin A3).. Molecular cell. 70(1):60-71.e15. Abstract
Fidaxomicin is an antibacterial drug in clinical use for treatment of Clostridium difficile diarrhea. The active ingredient of fidaxomicin, lipiarmycin A3 (Lpm), functions by inhibiting bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). Here we report a cryo-EM structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis RNAP holoenzyme in complex with Lpm at 3.5-Å resolution. The structure shows that Lpm binds at the base of the RNAP "clamp." The structure exhibits an open conformation of the RNAP clamp, suggesting that Lpm traps an open-clamp state. Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments confirm that Lpm traps an open-clamp state and define effects of Lpm on clamp dynamics. We suggest that Lpm inhibits transcription by trapping an open-clamp state, preventing simultaneous interaction with promoter -10 and -35 elements. The results account for the absence of cross-resistance between Lpm and other RNAP inhibitors, account for structure-activity relationships of Lpm derivatives, and enable structure-based design of improved Lpm derivatives.
Sosio, M, Gaspari E, Iorio M, Pessina S, Medema MH, Bernasconi A, Simone M, Maffioli SI, Ebright RH, Donadio S.  2018.  Analysis of the Pseudouridimycin Biosynthetic Pathway Provides Insights into the Formation of C-nucleoside Antibiotics.. Cell Chemical Biology. 25(5):540-549. Abstract
Pseudouridimycin (PUM) is a selective nucleoside-analog inhibitor of bacterial RNA polymerase with activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. PUM, produced by Streptomyces sp. ID38640, consists of a formamidinylated, N-hydroxylated Gly-Gln dipeptide conjugated to 5'-aminopseudouridine. We report the characterization of the PUM gene cluster. Bioinformatic analysis and mutational knockouts of pum genes with analysis of accumulated intermediates, define the PUM biosynthetic pathway. The work provides the first biosynthetic pathway of a C-nucleoside antibiotic and reveals three unexpected features: production of free pseudouridine by the dedicated pseudouridine synthase, PumJ; nucleoside activation by specialized oxidoreductases and aminotransferases; and peptide-bond formation by amide ligases. A central role in the PUM biosynthetic pathway is played by the PumJ, which represents a divergent branch within the TruD family of pseudouridine synthases. PumJ-like sequences are associated with diverse gene clusters likely to govern the biosynthesis of different classes of C-nucleoside antibiotics.
Yu, Q, Lutz KA, Maliga P.  2017.  Efficient plastid transformation in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology. 175:186-193.