Associate Research Professor
235B Levi Hall
Department of Biology
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2685
Office 410 516-8498
Lab 410 516-7744
Departmental fax 410 516-5213
B.S.University Claude Bernard, Lyon, France
M.S.University Claude Bernard, Lyon, France
Ph.D.University Claude Bernard, Lyon, France
Microorganisms are responsible for key steps in biogeochemical cycles on Earth, yet the extent of their diversity and metabolic capabilities remains vastly underestimated. By increasing our knowledge of their genetic diversity, evolution and ecology we will learn more about our biosphere and how to better conserve resources and protect the environment.
Our research focuses on the processes that allow microorganisms to
adapt to their environment and to changing environmental conditions. We
study microorganisms that live in extreme environments, such as
deep-sea hydrothermal vents, hypersaline environments, and extremely
dry dserts where insults to the cellular components are intense;
organisms that inhabit these ecosystems have evolved robust adaptive
We are particularly interested in the microbial diversity of
microorganisms in extreme environments, in the evolutionary mechanisms
that drive genome alteration in response to environmental changes, and
in the molecular mechanisms of DNA repair and stress response.
Our main research projects are:
Molecular responses of extremophilic Archaea to environmental changes
- Oxidative stress, desiccation, and radiation
repairs systems in the Archaea
- Homologous recombination, MutS2
Microbial genomics of extreme environments
- Microbial communities structure and composition in the Atacama Desert and the Dry Valleys of Antarctica
- Genetic diversity and genome evolution
Our research is
directly related to Astrobioloy. Visit the Astrobiology web site at JHU
Kaur, A., P.T. Van, C.R. Busch, C. Robinson, M. Pan, W.L. Pang, D. Reiss, J. DiRuggiero, and N.S. Baliga. 2010. Coordination of frontline defense mechanisms under severe oxidative stress. In press Mol. Syst. Biol.
Busch, C.R., and J. DiRuggiero. MutS and MutL are dispensable for maintenance of the genomic mutation rate in the halophilic archaeon Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1. 2010. PLoS ONE, doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0009045.
Kish, A., G. Kirkali, C. Robinson, R. Rosenblatt, P. Jaruga, M. Dizdaroglu, and J. DiRuggiero. 2009. Salt Shield: Intracellular Salts Provide Protection against Ionizing Radiation in the Halophilic Archaeon, Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 Environ. Microbiol. 11:1066-1078
White J.R., Escobar-Paramo P., Mongodin E.F., Nelson K.A. and J. DiRuggiero. 2008. Extensive Genome Rearrangements and Multiple Horizontal Gene Transfers in a Population of Pyrococcus Isolates from Vulcano Island, Italy. Appl Environ Microbiol. 74:6447-6451 Recommended by Faculty of 1000 Biology: http://www.f1000biology.com/article/id/1123489/evaluation
Kish, A., and J. DiRuggiero. 2008. Rad50 is Not Essential for the Mre11-Dependant Repair of DNA Double Strand Breaks in Halobacterium sp. str. NRC-1. J. Bacteriol. 190:5210-5216.
Bonneau R., Facciotti M.T., Reiss D.J., Schmid A.K., Pan M., Kaur A., Thorsson V., Shannon P., Johnson M.H., Bare J.C., Longabaugh W., Vuthoori M., Whitehead K., Madar A., Suzuki L., Mori T., Chang D.E., DiRuggiero J., Johnson C.H., Hood L., Baliga N.S. 2007. A predictive model for transcriptional control of physiology in a free living cell. Cell. 131:1354-65.
Whitehead* K., A. Kish* A., M. Pan, A. Kaur, D.J. Reiss, N. King, L.
Hohmann, J. DiRuggiero and N. S. Baliga. 2006. Stress management: Using
a systems approach to understand stress response to gamma radiation
(*these authors contributed equally to this work).
Mol. Syst. Biol. 2:47 Williams E., T. Lowe, J. Savas and J. DiRuggiero. 2006. Microarray analysis of the Pyrococcus furiosus exposed to gamma irradiation. Extremophiles 1:19-29.
Escobar-Paramo P., S. Gosh and J. DiRuggiero. 2005. Evidence for genetic drift in the diversification of a geographically isolated population of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus. Mol. Biol. Evol. 22:2297 2303.
Kottemann M., A. Kish, S. Bjork, C. Iloanusi and J. DiRuggiero. 2005. Desiccation and gamma irradiation repair in the halophilic archaeon Halobacterium NRC1. Extremophiles 9: 219-227.
Kanoksilapatham W., Gonzlez J.M., Maeder D.L., DiRuggiero J. and F.T. Robb. 2004. A proposal to rename the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus woesei as Pyrococcus furiosus, sub sp. woesei. Archaea 1:277283.
Baliga N., S. Bjork, R. Bonneau, M. Pan, C. Iloanusi, M. Kottermann, H. Hood. and J. DiRuggiero. 2004. Systems level insights into mechanisms of stress response to UV irradiation in Halobacterium sp. NRC-1. Genome Res. 14:1025-1035