Nate Grassi

Research Interests

I am interested in exploring the factors that shape protein evolution. Specifically, I study the TEM-1 beta lactamase, an enzyme that can degrade beta lactam antibiotics. This gene naturally occurs on plasmids, which are extrachromosomal portions of DNA that can transfer between bacterial species, spreading resistance to new populations and changing the host context in which the gene is evolving. My project explores how the genetic, environmental, and host backgrounds interact to influence the evolution of TEM-1.