Volle Research Lab

The Volle Lab

Research in the Volle Laboratory looks at the interactions between DNA and histone proteins as they form nucleosomes (the most basic unit of DNA packaging in the cell). Specifically, we are interested in regions of the genome that contain short repeating segments of DNA and the changes in nucleosome formation that occur as the number of repeats increase. We are also interested in the effect of specific histone proteins on nucleosome formation and stability.

In addition to our work in nucleosome formation, we are also investigating the biophysical properties of bacterial biofilms. Biofilms are interconnected communities of bacteria attached to surfaces. By living as a community, they can protect themselves from harsh environmental conditions and antimicrobial agents. In fact, you likely experience a biofilm every morning when you wake up and feel a film on your teeth!

August 2017: Tori Kehler, Gina Wannaporn, Aneth Garrido, and Tiffany Carriker join the lab. Welcome!

June 2017: Catherine heads to Wellesley to use the AFM for work on the bacterial biophysics projects.

May 2017: Michaela and Whitli are Cottey’s first summer science students! They will continue working on their research projects for 4 weeks.

May 2017: Peace graduates summa cum laude with her B.S. in Health Science. Congratulations Peace!

May 2017: Several lab members are honored with awards at the Honors and Awards Convocation. Congratulations!

February 2017: Catherine, Peace, and Ciara attend the Biophysical Society annual meeting in New Orleans, LA.

January 2017: Thelma Mashaka, Melanie Dillon, and Helen Greer join the lab. Welcome!

September 2016: Ciara Dwyer, Kanesha Overton, Dee Finley, and Peace Olaoluwa join the lab. Welcome!

May 2016: Catherine heads to Wellesley College to use their AFM for the summer.

January 2016: Whitli Thomas, Michaela Norbury, Henrietta Ehirim, and Holly Long join the lab. Welcome!

Current Members:
  Catherine Burke Volle, Ph.D.

B.A. Biology, Mount Holyoke College, 2006

Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, 2013

Assistant Professor of Biology and Chemistry

Tiffany Carriker B.S. 2019- Tiffany is working on monitoring bacterial predation using fluorescence.
Melanie Dillon B.S. 2019- Melanie is working on expressing and purifying recombinant HIV nucleocapsid protein.
Ciara Dwyer B.S 2019- Ciara is investigating G-quadruplex formation in prokaryotic genomes.
Henrietta Ehirim B.S. 2019- Henrietta is working with non-canonical structure-forming DNA.
Aneth Garrido B.S. 2018- Aneth is investigating the response of Gram positive biofilms to antimicrobial compounds.
Helen Greer B.S. 2020- Helen is investigating the response of Gram-negative biofilms to antimicrobial compounds.
Tori Kehler B.S. 2018- Tori is investigating how predatory bacteria dismantle mixed species biofilms.
Thelma Mashaka B.S. 2018- Thelma is investigating the response of Gram-positive biofilms to antimicrobial compounds.
Michaela Norbury B.S. 2019- Michaela is investigating the changes that occur when CGG/CCG repeats are methylated.
Kanesha Overton B.S. 2015, Oklahoma State University- Kanesha is investigating the biophysical changes that occur when bacteria are exposed to antimicrobial compounds.
Whitli Thomas B.S. 2019- Whitli is expressing and purifying histone proteins from recombinant and biological sources.
Gina Wannaporn B.S. 2018- Gina is investigating the flexibility of interrupted CGG/CCG repeats.
Former Members:
Dee Finley A.S. 2017- Dee helped with a literature review of G-quadruplex formation. She is currently training to be a Veterinary Technician.
Holly Long A.A. 2017- Holly transformed cells with histone expression vectors.
Peace Olaoluwa B.S. Health Science 2017- Peace investigated the behavior of E. coli in response to ampicillin.



Melanie and Catherine in Rome, Spring 2017.

Ciara and Peace at BPS 2017. Not sure who the new girl is.

The Volle Lab: Fall 2016

The Volle Lab: Spring 2016

The Volle Lab Fall 2017

Catherine B. Volle and Yamini Dalal. (2014) “Histone Variants: Tricksters of the Chromatin World” Current Opinions in Genetics and Development 25 8-14.

Catherine B. Volle and Sarah Delaney. (2013) “AGG/CCT Interruptions Affect Nucleosome Formation and Positioning of Healthy-Length CGG/CCG Triplet Repeats” BMC Biochemistry 14 1-12.

Catherine B. Volle and Sarah Delaney. (2012) “CAG/CTG Repeats Alter Affinity for the Histone Core and Positioning of DNA in the Nucleosome” Biochemistry 51 9814-9825.

Sarah Delaney, Daniel A. Jarem, Catherine B. Volle, and Craig J. Yennie. (2012) “Chemical and Biological Consequences of Oxidatively Damaged Guanine in DNA” Free Radical Research 46 420-441.

Catherine B. Volle, Daniel A. Jarem, and Sarah Delaney. (2012) “Trinucleotide Repeat DNA Alters Structure to Minimize the Thermodynamic Impact of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine” Biochemistry 51 52-62.

Catherine B. Volle, Megan A. Ferguson, Katherine E. Aidala, Eileen M. Spain, and Megan E. Núñez. (2008) “Spring Constants and Adhesive Properties of Native Bacterial Biofilm Cells Measured by Atomic Force Microscopy” Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 67 32-40.

Catherine B. Volle, Megan A. Ferguson, Katherine E. Aidala, Eileen M. Spain, and Megan E. Núñez. (2008) “Quantitative Changes in the Elasticity and Adhesive Properties of Prey Cells During Predation by Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus 109J” Langmuir 24 8102-8110.

Megan A. Ferguson, Jacqueline Schmitt, Anil R. Sindhurakar, Catherine B. Volle, Megan E. Núñez, and Eileen M. Spain. (2008) “Rapid Isolation of Host-Independent Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus” Journal of Microbiological Methods 73 279-281.