Shelley L. Lusetti

Associate Professor  |  (575) 646-6016

  • A.A. Sacramento City College 1994
  • B.S. University of California, Santa Barbara 1998
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison 2002
  • Postdoctoral, University of Wisconsin, Madison 2004SLL_Pro.jpg





The broad research interest of the Lusetti Lab is to define the cellular processes underlying chromosomal maintenance by studying the enzymes and regulatory mechanisms that control it. We are specifically interested in the elucidation of the biochemical roles of novel enzymes involved in DNA damage response pathways. We focus on several bacterial models, using comparative biochemistry to explain the differential DNA damage tolerance of multiple bacterial organisms, including Escherichia coli, Deinococcus radiodurans and Staphylococcus aureus. We are studying various bacterial enzymes that are induced in response to DNA damage for which no biochemical function is ascribed. For example, we have described a cohesin-like function for the RecN protein, the first demonstration of such a function in a bacterial recombinational DNA repair protein. Additionally, we have recently published a novel recombinational DNA repair regulatory mechanism for the DinD protein. Finally, our research seeks to expand the understanding of bacterial DNA damage response enzymes to combat the growing problem of acquired antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria. We are designing inhibitors specific to the central pathway responsible for antibiotic-induced mutagenesis leading to resistance conferring mutations in both pathogenic E. coli and S. aureus.