- About the Lab
Our team tackles a wide range of science research, education and outreach projects:
Research - The focus of our research is in the area of microbial evolution - namely antimicrobial resistance evolution - and drug development. We are currently wrapping up a large study on the molecular evolution of antibiotic resistance genes in clinical and environmental isolates. This study has revealed a large reservoir of resistance genes in wild populations and strong levels of positive selection among amino acid sites that increase levels of resistance in clinical populations. In addition to this work we have created a small biopharmaceutical company (Bacteriotix) whose mission is to design and develop novel antimicrobials that hinder drug resistance evolution.
Education - Dr. Riley teaches several formal courses, including Quantitative Systems - a math intensive version of introductory biology - and the upper level course Principles of Molecular Evolution. She also offers an intensive intern experience in the area of science outreach, in which students learn how to engage and inspire people about science. She also hosts the Dakin Animal Shelter intern experience.
Outreach - Dr. Riley is the founder and 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 classrooms across the state and engaging in science education reform efforts. She is also the co-founder of the Institute for Drug Resistance, which serves as a vehicle for facilitating, supporting and promoting novel, multidisciplinary approaches to the challenges of drug resistance.