Pamela B. Brown, PhD


My lab is interested in understanding the principles that govern bacterial morphology, a readily observable facet of microbial cell biology. One of the major unsolved questions in microbiology is how bacteria generate specific shapes. Bacteria exhibit an amazing diversity of shapes and sizes that are precisely reproduced at every generation, indicating that morphology plays an important role in the life of these bacteria. Impressive progress has been made in the past few years in understanding the mechanism of cell shape determination in a few model bacterial systems, including the discovery that bacteria possess a cytoskeleton, but we are still very far having a comprehensive understanding of how bacterial morphologies are generated. 

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Academic Information

Associate Professor
Biological Sciences
P. 573-884-0214

Research Interests

  • Molecular basis for polar growth in Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Areas of Expertise

  • Bacterial Genetics
  • Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • Cell Biology
  • Bacteriology

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

2006, PhD, University of Georgia

Awards & Honors

  • Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award 2016
  • College of Arts and Science Purple Chalk Teaching Award 2015


MA Williams, PJ Friedrichsen, TD Sadler, PJB Brown. 2018. Modeling the Emergence of Antibiotic Resistance in Bacterial Populations. The American Biology Teacher 80 (3), 214-220.

SA Flores, M Howell, JJ Daniel, R Piccolo, PJB Brown. 2018. Absence of the Min system does not cause major cell division defects in Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Frontiers in Microbiology 9, 681.

H Attai, J Rimbey, GP Smith, PJB Brown. 2017. Expression of a peptidoglycan hydrolase from lytic bacteriophages Atu_ph02 and Atu_ph03 triggers lysis of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 83 (23), e01498-17.

C Zhang, PJB Brown, Z Hu. 2017. Thermodynamic properties of an emerging chemical disinfectant, peracetic acid. Science of The Total Environment.

M Howell, JJ Daniel, PJB Brown. 2017. Live Cell Fluorescence Microscopy to Observe Essential Processes During Microbial Cell Growth. Journal of visualized experiments: JoVE

M Howell, A Aliashkevich, AK Salisbury, F Cava, GR Bowman, PJB Brown. 2017. Absence of the polar organizing protein PopZ results in reduced and asymmetric cell division in Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Journal of bacteriology 199 (17), e00101-17

M Howell, PJB Brown. 2016. Building the bacterial cell wall at the pole. Current Opinion in Microbiology 34, 53-59.

W Figueroa-Cuilan, JJ Daniel, M Howell, A Sulaiman, PJB Brown. 2016. Mini-Tn7 insertion in an artificial attTn7 site enables depletion of the essential master regulator CtrA in the phytopathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Applied and environmental microbiology 82 (16), 5015-5025

M Williams, MD Hoffman, JJ Daniel, SM Madren, A Dhroso, D Korkin, et. al. 2016. Short-stalked Prosthecomicrobium hirschii cells have a Caulobacter-like cell cycle. Journal of bacteriology 198 (7), 1149-1159.

PJ Friedrichsen, TD Sadler, K Graham, P Brown. 2016. Design of a socio-scientific issue curriculum unit: Antibiotic resistance, natural selection, and modeling. International Journal of Designs for Learning 7 (1).

JJ Daniel, SA Givan, YV Brun, PJB Brown. 2015. Draft genome sequence of Prosthecomicrobium hirschii ATCC 27832T. Genome announcements 3 (6), e01355-15.

MD Hoffman, LI Zucker, PJB Brown, DT Kysela, YV Brun, SC Jacobson. 2015. Timescales and Frequencies of Reversible and Irreversible Adhesion Events of Single Bacterial Cells. Analytical chemistry 87 (24), 12032-12039.

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