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Todd Lorenz

Todd Lorenz

Associate Professor, Biology

Main: (909) 448-4148

Areas of research interest:
My research interests are focused on microbial ecology and virology. Bacteria and phages are abundant but have been poorly studied. Estimates of soil diversity predict 103 to 104 different species of bacteria per gram of soil. Less than 5% of these bacteria have been successfully isolated from the rhizosphere. Thus, the field of microbiology is preparing for an explosive expansion in our understanding of the microbial communities. These studies will be paramount for development of novel enzymes, processes, products, and applications that will allow sustainable economic future of contemporary industrialized societies. The virology Project is focused on an idea first proposed by Félix d’Herelle and Frederick William Twort, the first investigators to examine bacterial viruses know as bacteriophage.  Before antibiotics d’Herelle and Twort proposed using bacteriophage to combat bacterial infections. Once antibiotics were isolated therapeutic phage studies were terminated. As of today, the vast majority of phage remaining uncharacterized. However, strong selective pressure for microbes to become resistant to our arsenal of antibiotics has reinvigorated the idea of using phage, a natural predator to these pathogens, to combat bacteria diseases.  I have become interested in finding phage that infects bacteria isolated from the microbial ecology project. It would then be possible to test if these isolates are novel and collaborate with other laboratories to determine if these phage have a host range that include any pathogenic bacteria of the same genus.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.S., B.A., DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois