John Mittler got his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine where he studied bacterial evolution with Dr. Richard Lenski. After getting his Ph.D., he did postdoctoral research on bacteria-phage interactions with Bruce Levin at Emory University and on the dynamics of HIV-1 with Alan Perelson at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Dr. Mittler’s laboratory focuses on the population biology microorganisms. Owing to their rapid generation times, large population sizes, and ease of culture, microbes are ideally suited for testing ecological and evolutionary theories. The laboratory takes particular interest in projects that use mathematical/computational models. Examples of questions addressed in our laboratory include: (1) How rapidly do bacteria and viruses replicate within a host? (2) What are the ecological forces that prevent cheaters from exploiting bacteria that release “public goods”, such as antibiotics and proteases, into the growth medium? (3) How can combination antiretroviral therapy regimens be optimized to reduce the probability that viruses will evolve drug resistance? (4) How does the structure of the social network and the roll out of drug therapies influence the evolution of HIV-1 virulence?