Welcome to the Riley Laboratory

Members of the Riley lab tackle a wide range of research, education and outreach projects:


Our primary research focus is in the area of drug discovery and we are engaged in a series of "proof of principle" studies to reveal the potential for bacteriocins to provide an alternative to convetional antibiotics. To learn more about these efforts follow the following link to read a review article - OR - clck on the research section of our website for descriptions of our current efforts.

Rethinking the composition of a rational antibiotic arsenal for the 21st century


Dr. Riley teaches several formal courses, including

- Quantitative Systems - which applies the theme of modeling and hands-on experimentation to core concepts in evolution, physiology, and ecology introductory biology;>

- Biology of Social Issues - which provides non-science majors with the basic scientific knowledge that an informed citizen requires to develop thoughtful positions on sometimes controversial questions related to the microbiome, antibiotic resistance, environmental degradation, and more;

- The Human Microbiome in Health and Disease - which is an upper level course focused on exploring the human microbiome through readings from the primary literature.

- Microbes and Man - which is a freshman seminar in which students explore the importance of microbes in their lives.


Dr. Riley is the founder and former president of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of civic science literacy in the state. This organization engages in a wide range of science outreach activities, including hosting an annual meeting, visiting school rooms across the state and engaging in science education reform efforts. She is also the founder of the STEM Ambassadors Program, an NSF-funded STEM retention program that creates an inclusive community to support STEM students reach their education and career goals. Finally, Dr. Riley is fully committed to raising civic science literacy and she has contributed to several TV shows, podcasts and webinars. For more details and links to videos - click on the Outreach section of our website.


Dr. Riley is available for consulting in the areas of antibiotic resistance and bacteriocin-based drug discovery and development. Her research lab is also available for targeted drug screening projects.

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