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Craig Laufer

Craig Laufer

Professor of Biology

Tel: 301-696-3656
Office: Hodson Science & Technology Center, Room 160
Office hours: By appointment


  • Ph.D., Kent State University and Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine
  • B.S., University of Maryland, College Park

Courses Taught

  • BIO 112 Biology of Food and Nutrition
  • BIO 331 Microbiology
  • BIO 411/BMS 511 Biochemistry 1
  • BMS 520 Protein Purification and Characterization
  • BMS 531 Prokaryotic Genetics
  • BMS 540 Genome Analysis Mapping
  • HON 306 Biology: Fact, Future, Fiction

Research and teaching interests

I use genetic and biochemical approaches to study the regulation of gene expression. Specifically, I am using regulation of the lytic/lysogenic life cycle of the bacteriophage P1 as a model system. My students and I are examining the mechanism by which the phage Bof protein modifies the activity of the phages key repressor protein, cI. We have been using a variation of the S.E.L.E.X. procedure (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) to define the protein-nucleic acid interactions in this system.

A second research interest involves the creation of novel chitinase enzymes. I am using in vitro evolution techniques referred to as "sexual PCR" or "DNA shuffling" to evolve chitinase enzymes with increased activity and useful properties.