Regulation of gene expression: We are interested in the molecular basis of bacterial gene expression. Our current focus is on the regulation of microbial response to environmental stress including a shift in temperature or exposure to organic pollutants and heavy metals. Bacterial virulence: Although enteric bacteria, such as Escherichia coli are common inhabitants of our body, several strains are highly virulent and are often the cause of mortality and morbidity in man and animals. Weare interested in the genetic factors that determine the virulence of E. coli strains, and our specific interest is in these factors that determine the host specificity of the pathogens. Use of bacteria to combat pollution: We have been studying bacteria that are potentially useful in bioremediation of organic pollution as well as pollution with heavy metals, especially cadmium. In addition to laboratory research, we have - in collaboration with Professor Eugene Rosenberg - carried out bioremediation of a number of oil-polluted sites, including the restoration of a beach heavily contaminated with crude oil north of Haifa.