Bacteria possess an astounding armamentarium of catabolic activities. These activities drive important ecological processes, have tremendous biotechnological potential and, in the case of pathogens, ensure survival under host-imposed constraints. The overall objective of our research is to characterize key pathways and enzymes involved in the catabolism of aromatic compounds and steroids in Mycobacterium and Rhodococcus. This includes, elucidating the catalytic mechanism of enzymes, understanding how mycobacteria and rhodococci coordinate the concurrent catabolism of multiple growth substrates, and harnessing this knowledge to create useful biocatalysts and urgently needed therapeutics. Specifically, we seek to understand:
Lindsay obtained his PhD in Biochemistry in 1989 studying interactions between metalloproteins. His interest in bacterial catabolic enzymes and pathways began during his postdoctoral studies in Germany, when he studied enzymes involved in the degradation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). His primary research interest is bacterial enzymes and pathways responsible for the degradation of aromatic compounds and steroids. The author of over 170 peer-reviewed, original research papers, he uses a wide variety of approaches to gain novel insights into the molecular basis of these catabolic processes. His most significant contributions have provided insights into how important classes of enzymes work and how certain pathogens survive in their hosts. Lindsay’s research has important implications for the development of novel biocatalysts for more sustainable processes as well as the development of novel therapeutics. In 2014, Lindsay was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Microbial Catabolism and Biocatalysis.
PhD, Biochemistry, 1989
University of British Columbia