Our laboratory also works to understand the DNA topoisomerases, targets of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in bacterial pathogens and targets of many anti-cancer drugs. Because the essential topoisomerases modulate DNA, the work in our laboratory has broadened to include creating tiny circles of DNA to study DNA supercoiling and how it affects topoisomerases and how drugs inhibit topoisomerases. These tiny circles of DNA have become a new gene therapy delivery tool. This work was first funded by the National Science Foundation, an award from the John S. Dunn Foundation, a collaborative grant from the Human Frontier Science Program, seed funding from the Northwest Genome Engineering Consortium in Seattle, seed funding from the Baylor–UT Houston Center for AIDS Research, and is currently funded by the NIH.
The multidisciplinary research in the laboratory provides ample opportunity for training. Dr. Zechiedrich has trained nine previous and one current postdoctoral fellows, 11 former and four current graduate students, three former post-baccalaureate students, 20 former undergraduate students former undergraduate students, and three high school students in addition to hosting three visiting professors. She has published and lectured nationally on mentoring and was Baylor College of Medicine’s BRASS Mentor of the Year in 2013. Former trainees from the Zechiedrich laboratory continue to contribute to science in multiple different capacities. They are college professors, company scientists and CEO’s, medical doctors, science writers, postdoctoral fellows, and K12 education.