Photo of Wendy  Mok, Ph.D.

Wendy Mok, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
Academic Office Location:
Molecular Biology and Biophysics
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
Phone: 860-679-2203
Fax: 860-679-3408
Email: mok@uchc.edu
Website(s):

Mok Lab

Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Graduate Program

Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
H.BSc.McMaster UniversityBiochemistry, Molecular Biology Specialization
Ph.D.McMaster UniversityBiochemistry

Post-Graduate Training
TrainingInstitutionSpecialty
PostdoctoralPrinceton UniversityPostdoctoral Research Associate, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Awards
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation Travel FellowshipUniversity of Basel
Charles H. Revson Senior Fellowship in Biomedical ScienceCharles H. Revson Foundation
Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship, Doctoral LevelNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship, Master’s LevelNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA), 2004, 2006, 2007Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Medical Microbiology MEDS 444-40

Our research focuses on how bacteria respond to and survive antibiotic treatment. We are especially interested in bacterial persisters, which are rare cell types in a population that can tolerate lethal doses of antibiotics that kill their genetically identical kin. Unlike antibiotic resistant mutants, persisters have not acquired heritable genetic changes that allow them to grow in the presence of antibiotics. Rather, the persister phenotype is transient. Once the antibiotic is removed and cells resume growth, the phenotype is lost. As persisters are recalcitrant to antibiotic treatment, they can potentially fuel the development of relapsing chronic infections and antibiotic resistance.

Our major goal is to understand the triggers and survival strategies of bacterial persisters. We use genetic, biochemical, and systems biology approaches to investigate how fluctuations in the host environment impact persistence and how bacteria respond to and recover from treatment with antibiotics that target different cellular components. Contact us to find out more.

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Summer '19, Fall '19, Spring '20

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Resistance and tolerance to aminoglycosides
    Mok, Wendy W K Brynildsen, Mark P Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics: From Molecules to Man 2019 Jan;81-100 (in press)
  • Small size, big impact: Bacterial functional nucleic acids and their applications
    Mok, W.W.K, McManus, S.A., and Li Y RNA Technologies. Chemical Biology of Nucleic Acids: Fundamentals and Clincial Applications 2014 Jan;309-323

Reviews

Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
DNA Damage Repair in Fluoroquinolone Persisters Can Fuel Antibiotic FailureTalkBridging Theory and Experiment in Microbial Communities2018Princeton Center for Theoretical Science, Princeton, New Jersey
Tick-tock: Timing of DNA damage responses impacts fluoroquinolone persistenceTalkEMBO Workshop on Bacterial Persistence and Antimicrobial Therapy2018Congressi Stefano Franscini, Ascona, Switzerland
Timing of replication and repair impacts persistence to ofloxacinTalkEMBO|EMBL Symposium: New Approaches and Concepts in Microbiology2017EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
A macromolecular futile cycle in model Escherichia coli persistersTalkMolecular Genetics of Bacteria and Phages Meeting2015University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Decoding toxicity: Characterization of a type I toxin in Escherichia coliTalk93rd Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition2010Toronto, Ontario, Canada