Margaret McFall-Ngai, Ph.D.

Director, PBRC

Education

1973, BS in Biology, University of San Francisco

1983, Ph.D. in Biology, UCLA

1984-1986, Postdoctoral Fellow, Jules Stein Eye Inst, UCLA<.p>

1986-1988, Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Inst of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Research Interests

Our research focuses on host responses to interactions with beneficial microbes. Within this context, the studies of my laboratory address five major questions:

1. How are environmentally rare bacteria harvested from the host?s habitat during the onset of a horizontally transmitted symbiosis?
2. By what mechanisms does the host recognize its specific symbiotic partner(s)?
3. What are the influences of symbiotic bacteria on the developmental of the host tissues with which they associate?
4. How is the symbiont population maintained in balance over the host's lifetime, such that neither does the symbiont overgrow the host nor does the host eliminate the symbiont?
5. What are the similarities and differences between pathogenic and beneficial animal-bacterial interactions?