Erin Carlson, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Erin Carlson

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-2580

Office Address:
Room 139 SmithH

Mailing Address:
Room 139 SmithH
3661A (Campus Delivery Code)
207 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Graduate Faculty, Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Faculty, PhD Program in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics


Carlson Lab Group

To meet the challenges of antibiotic resistance and specter of a post-antibiotic era, the Carlson lab is pursuing the discovery of the master regulators of bacterial growth and communication and ultimately, the identification of new antibiotics through the application of diverse tools at the interface of chemistry and biology. 

We are currently pursuing three intersecting objectives:

 1) Development and application of powerful strategies to explore and interpret the molecular language used by bacteria to respond to environmental cues using a combination of mass spectrometry, informatics and novel separation reagents

2) Pursuit of the generation of chemical probes and inhibitors for the global profiling and inhibition of histidine kinases, a ubiquitous class of proteins essential for signal transduction in bacteria

3) To deepen our understanding of the multi-protein systems that dictate bacterial growth and division, we are designing selective probes for imaging and proteomics with specific focus on the penicillin-binding proteins. 

Each of our research objectives is independently important for potential therapeutic development. However, it is our focus on the synergy between multiple areas that is the foundation for our unique ability to detect, interrupt and exploit the master regulators of bacterial behavior


Chemical biology, infectious disease, bacterial imaging, proteomics, inhibitor development, natural products


Research Summary/Interests

Chemical biology, infectious disease, bacterial imaging, proteomics, inhibitor development, natural products


PubMed Bibliography

1.Jones, S. E.; Pham, C. A.; Zambri, M. P.; McKillip, J.; Carlson, E. E.; Elliot, M. A. Streptomyces volatile compounds influence exploration and microbial community dynamics by altering iron availability. MBio 2019, 10, e00171-00179.

2.Goswami, M.; Espinasse, A.; Carlson, E. E. Disarming the virulence arsenal of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by blocking two-component system signaling. Chem. Sci. 2018, 9, 7332-7337.

3.Chase, O. M.; Espinasse, A.; Wilke, K. E.; Carlson, E. E. Exploration of the effects of gamma-phosphate-modified ATP analogues on histidine kinase autophosphorylation. Biochemistry 2018, 57, 4368-4373.

4.Sharifzadeh, S.; Boersma, M. J.; Kocaoglu, O.; Shokri, A.; Brown, C. L.; Shirley, J. D.; Winkler, M. E.; Carlson, E. E. Novel electrophilic scaffold for imaging of essential penicillin-binding proteins in Streptococcus pneumoniae. ACS Chem. Biol. 2017, 12, 2849-2857.

5.Goswami, M.; Wilke, K. E.; Carlson, E. E. Rational design of selective adenine-based scaffolds for inactivation of bacterial histidine kinases. J. Med. Chem. 2017, 60, 8170-8182.