In addition to her appointment in Microbiology, Dr. Mary Lidstrom holds the Frank Jungers Chair of Chemical Engineering. She received a B.S. in microbiology from Oregon State University, and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Lidstrom conducted postdoctoral work as a Leverhulme Fellow in Microbiology at the University of Sheffield, and has held academic appointments in microbiology at the University of Washington, in the Center for Great Lakes Studies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in Environmental Engineering Science at the California Institute of Technology. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2013. She currently serves as the Vice Provost for Research at the University of Washington and as Director for the UW Genome Outreach to Minorities Program.
Research in Dr. Lidstrom's laboratory is focused on molecular and metabolic manipulations of methylotrophic bacteria, which are capable of growth on methane, methanol, and methylated amines. The long-term goal of this research is to develop environmentally sound and economically viable alternatives to current chemical production and cleanup strategies. Genetic, physiological, and metabolic modeling approaches are used to understand key metabolic pathways employed by these bacteria in isolation, as well as in their natural communities, with the goal of directed manipulation of key metabolic pathways and enzymes. These studies are being augmented by systems level approaches including RNAseq, metagenomics, and flux balance modeling.