Our research focuses on the biology of the peptidoglycan of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes tuberculosis, and Mycobacteroides abscessus, a related bacterium that causes opportunistic infections. We study basic mechanisms associated with peptidoglycan physiology but with an intent to leverage our findings to develop tools that will be useful in the clinic to treat mycobacterial infections. Peptidoglycan is the exoskeleton of bacteria that not only provides structural rigidity and cell shape but also several vital physiological functions. Breaching this structure is often lethal to bacteria. We are exploring fundamental mechanisms by which bacteria synthesize and preserve their peptidoglycan. Although our lab uses genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches to study the peptidoglycan, we pursue questions irrespective of the expertise required to answer those questions. It is through these studies that we identified synergy between two beta-lactam antibiotics against select mycobacteria.