Undergraduate Students


    Kayla Marks
    Project: Genomic and phenoptpic analysis of Pseudomonas sp. and Bacillus sp. isolated from Capsicum sp.

    Alexander Caraballo
    Project: Whole genome sequencing and annotation of bacterial endophytes from the insulin plant Costus igneus

    Kubra Naqvi
    Project: Expression, purification and structural characterization of L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase from Leptospira interrogans

    Taylor Foxhall
    Project: Elucidation and characterization of antibacterial compound(s)from Bacillus safensis RIT372

    Matthew Wheatley
    Project: Identification of endophytic bacteria from Dioscorea cayenensis (yellow-yam) and willow

    Alexander Triassi
    Project: Identification of endophytic bacteria from Dioscorea cayenensis (yellow-yam) and willow/


    Gerald Thornberg
    Project: Over-expression analysis of meso-diaminopimelate dehydrogenasase in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Austin Oseep
    Project: Ananlysis of MurB/MurC hybrid protein in Verrucomicrobium spinosum

    Victoria Nachar
    Project: The identification and characterization of L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase from Verrucomicrobium spinosum

    Mary Leeman
    Project: Cloning and characterization of two meso-diaminopimelate decarboxylases from Arabidopsis thaliana

    Allison Roder
    Project: Compositional analysis of sugar-stream extracts enriched in C-5, C-6 and C5/6 sugars

    Sarah Kearns
    Project: Cloning and expression of murB/murC gene from Verrucomicrobium spinosum

    Desiree Davison
    Project: Over-expression of beta-alanine aminotransferase in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Prosper Igboeli
    Project: Cloning of a cellulase ORF from Bradyrhizobium japonicum

    Eric Zajicek
    Project: Purification of LysA1, LysA2 and LysDH to facilitate enzymatic characterization

    Irma Giron
    Project: Characterization of L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase from the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    Francisco Savka
    Project: Identification, cloning and characterization of a putative beta-alanine aminotransferase from Arabidopsis thaliana

    Sean McGroty
    Poject: Characterization of meso-diaminopimelate ligase from Verrucomicrobium spinosum

    Steve Rutagarama
    Project: Identification of endophytic bacteria from Saccharum sp.

    Tristan De Jesus
    Project: The essentiality of L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase in Verrucomicrobium spinosum

    Christine Zhou
    Project: The essentiality of L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase in Verrucomicrobium spinosum

    Miranda Gehris
    Project: The essentiality of L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase in Verrucomicrobium spinosum

    Taylor Gosselin
    Project: A comprehensive study of the aminotransferase class of enzymes from Homo sapiens

    Peatros Haile
    Project: Elucidation of endophytic bacteria from Saccharum sp.

    Dhyiva Pattaniyil
    Project: Characterization of diaminopimelate decarboxylase from Arabidopsis thaliana

    Katie Smith
    Project: Cloning of beta-alanine aminotransferase to facilitate subcellular localization studies

    Kayla Bell
    Project: Identification and cloning of lysine decarboxylase from Arabidopsis thaliana

    Muhammad Izzat Ahmad Fauzi
    Project: Screening of tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) transgenic Tobacco and Arabidopsis over-producing TAT

    Mohd Fuad Bin Ismail
    Project: Identification and cloning of a putative cellulase gene from Bradyrhizobium japonicum

    Pranav Prabhu
    Project: The cloning and characterization of a putative tyrosine aminotransferase from Arabidopsis thaliana

    Jeet Hirpara
    Project: The characterization of L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase over-expression Arabidopsis thaliana

    Robert Van Buren
    Project: The characterization of tyrosine aminotransferase over-expression in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Nur Akmar Yusoff
    Project: The elucidation of plant genes involved in bacterial sensing

    Hanis Nazihah Hasmad
    Project: The elucidation of plant genes involved in bacterial sensing


I was born in the island of Jamaica and grew up in the town of Savanna-La-Mar in the parish of Westmoreland. I came to the United States at the age of 14 and completed High School at Salesian High in New Rochelle, NY. I received a B.S. in Biology from Virginia Union University (VUU) in 2000. I fell in love with science as an undergraduate student researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Anthony Madu at VUU where I performed research aimed at identifying pathogenic bacteria from fresh farm produce. I completed my Ph.D. in the department of Plant Biology and Pathology in 2006 under the direction of Dr. Thomas Leustek at Rutgers University. I joined the faculty in the School of Life Sciences in the Fall of 2008 following a post-doctoral fellowship at Rutgers. I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Gamma Chapter-VUU Spring 1998). I love music (authentic reggae-Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear etc.), reading (autobiographies), chess and sports (football-Bills), (soccer-Brazil), (baseball-Yankees), (basketball-Knicks). I reside in Hilton, New York with my wife Candice and my son Michael (8).


  • BIOL 201-Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 403-Fundamentals of Plant Biochemistry and Pathology
  • BIOL 401-Bio-separations: Principles and Practices (with Dr. Michael Savka)
  • BIOL 345-Molecular Ecology (with Dr. Sandra Connelly)
  • BIOL 201 - Cellular and Molecular Biology

    This course will address the fundamental concepts of Cellular and Molecular Biology. Lectures, assignments, and laboratory projects will explore the structure and function of molecules, organelles, and cells and the biological processes they are involved in. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and cellular processes as they relate to cellular and molecular biology. Students in this course will practice and carry out common laboratory techniques used by Cellular and Molecular Biologists including, recombinant DNA technology, cell trafficking, and cloning techniques.

    BIOL 403 - Fundamentals of Plant Biochemistry and Pathology

    This course is primarily focused on biochemical and pathological aspects of plants. This course provides an understanding of why protein catalysts are important in the field of plant biochemistry and plant pathology. More specifically, the role enzymes play in the basic cellular processes of plant growth and development is presented. Topics related to plant pathology are presented; such as plant disease epidemics, plant diagnosis, plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses, and plant-pathogen interaction, at the ecological, physiological and genetic level.

    BIOL 401 - Biological Separations: Principles and Practices

    This is a laboratory-based course that teaches classic concepts and techniques to enable the use of these techniques to purify small molecules and macromolecules from whole organisms. Detection techniques will include the use of bacterial biosensors, coomassie-blue staining, silver staining, and immunoblot analysis. Separation techniques will include SDS Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) analysis, thin layer chromatography, and paper electrophoresis. Purification techniques will include ammonium sulfate precipitation, affinity chromatography, and thin layer chromatography.

    BIOL 345 - Molecular Ecology

    This course explores the biology of populations and communities of organisms using molecular data. As DNA, RNA and proteins are nearly universal between organisms, the principles taught in this course will have wide applications, both within ecology and throughout many sub-disciplines of biology. Furthermore, this course will prepare students to apply the techniques in numerous research fields. The primary literature and worldwide applications of the field of molecular ecology will be incorporated into the course.

    If you are currently enrolled in any of the course(s) that I teach, please login to your myCourses account to get course materials and information.

    Please feel free to contact me (aohsbi@rit.edu) if you are interested in getting information about a particular course.

  • Institute Calendar


André O. Hudson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
Rochester Institute of Technology
85 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
Phone: 585-475-4259
Office: Gosnell Hall (Bldg 08) Room A358
Lab: Gosnell Hall (Bldg 08) Room A355
Twitter: @HudsonLabRIT
Skype: Andre.Hudson3


Amino Acid Metabolism

My laboratory is primarily interested in amino acid metabolism. More specifically, we are interested in the aminotransferase class of enzyme. Aminotransferases or transaminases (EC 2.6.1.x) are ubiquitous enzymes that are involved in amino acid biosynthesis, vitamin metabolism, carbon and nitrogen assimilation, secondary metabolism etc. They catalyze reversible reactions by transferring an amino group from a donor to an acceptor. The amino donor is usually an amino acid and the amino acceptor is usually a 2-oxo-acid. In the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana, there are 44 annotated aminotransferases many of which are uncharacterized. Using biochemical and bio-informatical approaches, my lab is interested in elucidating the function of the remaining aminotransferase enzymes that are deemed putative from organisms such as; plants, bacteria and algae.

Various organisms used in the Hudson lab

The relative map positions of aminotransferase and aminotransferase-like genes distributed on the 5 chromosomes of Arabidopsis thaliana


Transamination interconverts pairs of amino acids and keto acids. During transamination, the amino group of an amino acid is transferred to a keto acid, this produces a new keto acid while from the original keto acid, a new amino acid is formed. The enzyme employs a ping-pong (double displacement)(see cartoon above) mechanism facilitated by the co-factor pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) which is bound to a conserved lysine residue in the active site of the enzyme.

Structural analyses of enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism
(with Dr. Renwick C.J. Dobson-University of Canterbury)

Some of the enzymes involved in the metabolism of amino acids are putative or validated antibiotic targets based on the fact these amino acids are essential for bacterial growth and the anabolic pathways are absent in animals particularly humans. The Hudson lab is currently collaborating with the lab of Dr. Renwick Dobson from the University of Canterbury to elucidate the 3-dimensional structure of enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism.

The dimeric structure of diaminopimelate aminotransferase
from the alga C. reinhardtii solved by the Hudson and Dobson groups.

Homology model of V. spinosum diaminopimelate aminotransferase

Homolgy model of meso-diaminopimelate ligase (MurEVs).(a) The homology model of MurEVs highlighting domains A (grey), B (violet) and C (pink). (b) Shows the structure model of MurEVs bound to UDP-MurNAc-tripeptide (UMT) product (yellow). (c) Active site residue hypothesized to bind to UMT product is shown in red. The structure has been rotated 90 degrees on the right panel for the better viewing of the binding pocket. (d) Cross eye stereo view showing the interaction between amino acid residues of the binding site and UMT product.

Indentifcation of Bacterial Endophytes/Epiphytes
(Dr. Michael A. Savka-Rochester Institute of Technology)
(Dr. Larry Smart-Cornell University)

A collaborative project with Dr. Michael Savka (GSOLS) to identify and assess the role(s) of endophytic and epiphytic bacteria from plants such as sugarcane and grape is under way. We recently forged a collabortion with Dr. Larry Smart from Cornell University Department of Horiticulture to identify endophytes from willow.

Isolation and identification of bacterial endophytes from sugarcane using 16S V3 rDNA analysis

Recently, the genomes of 19 plant associated bacteria fromw sugarcane, yam and willow were sequenced and annotated in collaboration with Dr. Han Ming Gan (Monash University, Malaysia).

Research Opportunities

I am always interested in having enthusiastic and passionate students in my laboratory if there are openings. Students in my laboratory will be exposed to a variety of techniques from many disciplines including; biochemistry, molecular biology, enzymology, microbiology, plant biology/pathology, evolutionary biology, structural biology among others.

Email me at aohsbi@rit.edu to inquire about research opportunities.


I would like to thank the National Science Foundation (NSF), The RIT College of Science (COS), The Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences (GSOLS), The RIT Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and Sweetwater Energy (Rochester NY) for financial support. I would also like to thank all the wonderful collaborators and undergraduate students throughout the years.