James’ interests lie in understanding how biological macromolecules arrange to achieve function in living organisms. During his PhD at The Rockefeller University, James studied RNA polymerase, the enzyme that performs the critical process of transcription. He used cryo-electron microscopy to study the structures of this protein machine in several important bacterial pathogens. His research provides key insights into the regulation of transcription in bacteria.
As a Schmidt Science Fellow, James plans to combine structural biology with genetics and cell-imaging to investigate some of the fundamental biological processes involved in microbial virulence and host-pathogen interactions.
James is motivated by his scientific curiosity about the macromolecular complexes involved in microbial pathogenicity. James believes that learning more about these assemblies will provide fundamental information about biological processes underlying diseases caused by infectious pathogens and will serve as a platform for bioengineering and drug development. His goal is to establish his own laboratory, where he will use interdisciplinary approaches to study infectious diseases.