UW-Madison School of Pharmacy

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Jason M Peters, PhD

Assistant Professor

The emergence of bacterial pathogens resistant to most antibiotics—even those of last resort—is an urgent threat to human health, and underscores the need for new antibiotics with novel modes of action (MOA). Antibiotics target essential processes, exerting complex effects on downstream gene networks. The impact of an antibiotic on gene networks—outside of the direct target—not only affects the MOA, but also influences whether drug combinations will be synergistic or antagonistic. Thus, mapping networks of genes involved in essential processes will allow us to identify novel synergistic therapies and define new cellular targets for antibiotics. My work will couple CRISPR-based functional genomics with cross-species analysis to perform a systematic analysis of gene networks, providing pioneering insights into the fundamental mechanisms by which bacteria respond to antibiotics and enable us to develop new strategies to fight bacterial infections.


BS Biology - Southeast Missouri State University

BS Secondary Education - Southeast Missouri State University

PhD Genetics - University of Wisconsin-Madison with Robert Landick

Postdoctoral studies - University of California, San Francisco with Carol Gross


Highlighted Publications:

Research Papers:

  • Bhate MP, Lemmin T, Kuenze G, Mensa B, Ganguly S, Peters JM, Schmidt N, Pelton JG, Gross C, Meiler J, DeGrado WF. “Structure and function of the transmembrane domain of NsaS, an antibiotic sensing histidine kinase in S. aureus.” J Am Chem Soc. 2018 PMID:29771498
  • Sriram R, Sun J, Villanueva-Meyer J, Mutch C, De Los Santos J, Peters JM, Korenchan DE, Neumann K, Van Criekinge M, Kurhanewicz J, Rosenberg O, Wilson D, Ohliger MA. “Detection of Bacteria-Specific Metabolism Using Hyperpolarized [2-13C]Pyruvate.” ACS Infect Dis. 2018 PMID: 29405697
  • Koo BM, Kritikos G, Farelli JD, Todor H, Tong K, Kimsey H, Wapinski I, Galardini M, Cabal A, Peters JM, Hachmann AB, Rudner DZ, Allen KN, Typas A, Gross CA. “Construction and Analysis of Two Genome-Scale Deletion Libraries for Bacillus subtilis.” Cell Syst. 2017 PMID: 28189581
  • Zhao H, Sun Y, Peters JM, Gross CA, Garner EC, Helmann JD. “Depletion of undecaprenyl pyrophosphate phosphatases (UPP-Pases) disrupts cell envelope biogenesis in Bacillus subtilis.” J Bacteriol. 2016 PMID: 27528508
  • Peters JM*, Colavin A*, Shi H*, Czarny TL, Larson MH, Wong S, Hawkins JS, Lu CH, Koo BM, Marta E, Shiver AL, Whitehead EH, Weissman JS, Brown ED, Qi LS, Huang KC, Gross CA. “A Comprehensive, CRISPR-based Functional Analysis of Essential Genes in Bacteria.” † Cell. 2016 *co-first authors †Subtiwiki paper of the month, June 2016 PMID: 27238023
  • Haft RJ, Keating DH, Schwaegler T, Schwalbach MS, Vinokur J, Tremaine M, Peters JM, Kotlajich MV, Pohlmann EL, Ong IM, Grass JA, Kiley PJ, Landick R. “Correcting direct effects of ethanol on translation and transcription machinery confers ethanol tolerance in bacteria.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 PMID: 24927582
  • Larson MH, Mooney RA, Peters JM, Windgassen T, Nayak D, Gross CA, Block SM, Greenleaf WJ, Landick R, Weissman JS. “A pause sequence enriched at translation start sites drives transcription dynamics in vivo.” † Science. 2014 †perspective in Science PMID: 24789973
  • Peters JM, Mooney RA, Grass JA, Jessen ED, Tran F, Landick R. “Rho and NusG suppress pervasive antisense transcription in Escherichia coli.”† Genes Dev. 2012; †research highlight in Nat Rev Microbiol PMID: 23207917
  • Peters JM, Mooney RA, Kuan PF, Rowland JL, Keles S, Landick R. “Rho directs widespread termination of intragenic and stable RNA transcription.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 PMID: 19706412
  • Mooney RA, Davis SE, Peters JM, Rowland JL, Ansari AZ, Landick R. “Regulator trafficking on bacterial transcription units in vivo.” Mol Cell. 2009 PMID: 19150431


  • Peters JM, Silvis MR, Zhao D, Hawkins JS, Gross CA, Qi LS. “Bacterial CRISPR: accomplishments and prospects.” Curr Opin Microbiol. 2015 PMID: 26363124
  • Gray AN, Koo BM, Shiver AL, Peters JM, Osadnik H, Gross CA. “High-throughput bacterial functional genomics in the sequencing era.” Curr Opin Microbiol. 2015 PMID: 26336012
  • Hawkins JS, Wong S, Peters JM, Almeida R, Qi LS. “Targeted Transcriptional Repression in Bacteria Using CRISPR Interference (CRISPRi).” Methods Mol Biol. 2015 PMID: 25981485
  • Peters JM, Vangeloff AD, Landick R. “Bacterial transcription terminators: the RNA 3'-end chronicles.” J Mol Biol. 2011 PMID: 21439297