Biography

Dr. Konovalova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular genetics at UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Medical School. Dr. Konovalova joined the department in 2017 after completing her postdoctoral training with Professor Thomas J. Silhavy at Princeton University in Princeton, USA.

Dr. Konovalova received her Ph.D. in 2011 for her graduate thesis work in the laboratory of Prof. Lotte S√łgaard-Andersen at the Max-Plank Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany.

Dr. Konovalova is a recipient of the Texas Rising STAR Award (2017).

Education

Associate Research Scholar
Princeton University
Graduate Research Assistant
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Germany
Ph.D. of Natural Sciences
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Germany

Areas of Interests

Research Interests

Biogenesis and maintenance of bacterial cell surfaces.

 

Research Information

Bacterial cell envelope homeostasis

My research program is focused on how Gram-negative bacteria build and maintain the integrity of their cell envelope, the hallmark of which is the outer membrane (OM). The OM is an essential organelle and a major factor of intrinsic antibiotic resistance. We aim to provide a deep functional understanding of the OM assembly and homeostasis pathways and their interconnectivity as the first step in the scientific roadmap to antibiotic discovery. We combine classic and innovative genetic approaches with state-of-the-art biochemistry. Our research interest lies in two major areas:

  1. Biogenesis of surface-exposed lipoproteins (SLPs). Our goal is to define the mechanism of lipoprotein targeting and export to the bacterial cell surface to enable the development of predictive computational models for lipoprotein localization and genomic identification of SLPs.
  2. Envelope stress responses. We study envelope stress responses both on the molecular level to determine mechanistic aspects of the signal transduction and on the system level, to determine the global regulatory networks that ensure the fidelity of the envelope assembly under different growth conditions, including antibiotic challenges.