Paula J. Schlax

Stella James Sims Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Bonney Science Center, Room 311


BS Chemical Engineering Clarkson University, PhD Chemistry UW Madison, Post-doctoral training Biophysics Johns Hopkins University

My laboratory is investigating translational regulation, RNA localization and RNA decay in spirochetes, including the organism that causes Lyme disease. I am particularly interested in the importance of the thermodynamics and kinetics of mRNA folding in in regulating RNA levels and translation.

I am also involved in fostering inclusion and equity in STEM.

Courses Taught:

    • Biophysical Chemistry
    • Cellular and Molecular Biology and Laboratory
    • Biological Chemistry and Laboratory
    • Topics in Macromolecular Chemistry
    • Thermodynamics and Kinetics Laboratory
    • Atomic and Molecular Structure and Laboratory
    • Chemical Reactivity and Laboratory
    • Advanced Chemical Measurement Laboratory
    • Methods in Biophysical Chemistry
    • Epidemics (First Year Seminar)
    • Biotechnology for Citizens
    • Structure and Function of DNA, RNA, and   Proteins
    • Natural Science of Honeybees
    • Tick Borne Diseases

Recent Publications:

T. Saylor, C. Savage, A. Krusenstjerna, N. Jusufovic, W. Zückert, C. Brissette, Md Motaleb, P. Schlax, B. Stevenson, 2023, “Quantitative analyses of interactions between SpoVG and RNA/DNA” BBRC 654: 40-46

Snow*, E. Bacon*, J. Bergeron, D. Katzman*, A. Wilhelm*. O. Lewis*, D. Syangtan*. A. Calkins, L. Archambault, M.L. Anacker, and P.J. Schlax, 2020, :Transcript decay mediated by RNase III in Borrelia burgdorferi” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 529:386-391.

Matsunaga, P.J. Schlax, D. Haake, 2013, A role for cis-acting RNA sequences in the temperature-dependent expression of the multiadhesive Lig proteins in Leptospira interrogans” J. Bacteriol.  195:22 5092-5101.

Archambault, J. S. Borchert*, J. Bergeron*, S. Snow*, P.J. Schlax, 2013, “Measurements of mRNA Degradation in Borrelia burgdorferi” J. Bacteriol. 195:21 4879-4887.

Archambault, J. Linscott*, N. Swerdlow*, K. Boyland*, E. Riley* and P.J. Schlax, 2013, “Translational Efficiency of rpoS mRNA from Borrelia burgdorferi: Effects of the Length and Sequence of the mRNA Leader Region” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 433(1):73-8.

Recent Funding:

2023-2028 : Regulatory Network of the Lyme Disease Pathogen PI Frank Yang Indiana University sub award to Schlax  (~$178,000 to Bates)

2020-2024  NIH R01: SpoVG and PlzA Regulation of Lyme Disease Spirochete Infection Processes co-PI with B. Stevenson U Kentucky ($99,470 to Bates)

2019-2020 NIH R21 “Using Fluorescence Nanoscopy to Study RNA Localization in Borrelia burgdorferi, the Spirochete that Causes Lyme Disease” ($372,639 total) co_PI with Travis Gould, Bates College

2018-2023 HHMI: Inclusive Excellence Proposal for Bates, Project Director (2018-20)

2018 NIH R21 Award  “Post-transcriptional regulation in Borrelia burgdorferi by the BpuR RNA-binding protein($41,490 to Bates), co-PI with B. Stevenson, U Kentucky