Beth Lazazzera received her Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT. She arrived at UCLA in 1999 and joined the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG). She has participated in numerous instructional activities at UCLA and has taught the course “Introduction to Microbiology”, MIMG101, from 2001-2018. Since 2019, she has taught the introductory biology course, LS7A, “Cell and Molecular Biology”. She has been participating in workshops offered by the Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences (CEILS) since its inception and was a Scientific Teaching Fellow at the Mobile Summer Institute at UCLA. Beyond her teaching at UCLA, she concurrently spent 5 years as one of the lead instructors for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Advanced Bacterial Genetics Course. Dr. Lazazzera is a past Vice Chair of Undergraduate Education in MIMG, past-Chair of the Academic Senate Undergraduate Council, and is current the Chair of the Life Science Education Department.
Dr. Lazazzera’s laboratory studies bacterial social behavior and evolution. They have identified mechanisms by which Gram-positive bacteria are able to communication using peptide signals and mechanisms by which these bacteria can form biofilms. They are currently collaborating to determine a mechanism to disrupt biofilms that form on orthopedic devices. They are also studying how disruption of translational quality control pathways can disrupt the social behavior of bacteria. This led to the finding that problems in translation will lead to a higher mutation rate, which contributes to increased frequency of antibiotic resistance development. Future work is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie these bacterial behaviors.