Gladys Alexandre, Ph.D.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Dr. Gladys Alexandre is a Professor and the Head of the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of chemotaxis signal transduction in plant-microbe associations. Her group has characterized the chemotaxis responses of bacteria in the vicinity of plant roots and elucidated mechanisms by which soil bacteria integrate signaling by multiple chemotaxis signal transduction pathways to coordinate a single response. Alexandre and colleagues have also identified several strategies by which motile bacteria couple metabolism with sensing during chemotaxis and discovered novel regulatory mechanisms for controlling the signaling activity of chemotaxis receptors. From 2014 to 2019, she was the program director of the Program for Excellence and Equity in Research (PEER) to increase the diversity of students earning Ph.D.s in biomedically relevant STEM disciplines. She has mentored over 65 undergraduate students in research, many from underrepresented groups in STEM, including deaf and hard-of-hearing students, for whom she continues to advocate. She is an external Advisory Board Committee member for the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate program, Rochester Institute of Technology. She is an elected fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology, an editor for Applied and Environmental Microbiology and on the editorial board of the Journal of Bacteriology.