My research group focuses on the microbial ecology of disease-causing bacteria and environmental indicators of fecal contamination. We use DNA fingerprinting methods including denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and metagenomic approaches to characterize the biodiversity and population dynamics of these bacteria in nature. Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis and Vibrio parahaemolyticus are three of the bacteria that we study. One connection to cancer research is to understand why some bacteria display selective replication or preferential accumulation in the tumor microenvironment. This has potential value in the treatment of malignant tissue. In addition to this research role, I am a former member of the UMass Boston-DF/HCC NIH U56 grant (Health Disparities) steering committee.