Christine Jacobs-Wagner is a Dennis Cunningham Professor in the Department of Biology and the ChEM-H Institute at Stanford University. She is interested in understanding the fundamental mechanisms and principles by which cells, and, in particular, bacterial cells, are able to multiple. She received her PhD in Biochemistry in 1996 from the University of Liège, Belgium where she unraveled a molecular mechanism by which some bacterial pathogens sense and respond to antibiotics attack to achieve resistance. For this work, she received multiple awards including the 1997 GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists. During her postdoctoral work at Stanford Medical School, she demonstrated that bacteria can localize regulatory proteins to specific intracellular regions to control signal transduction and the cell cycle, uncovering a new, unsuspected level of bacterial regulation.
She started her own lab at Yale University in 2001. Over the years, her group made major contributions in the emerging field of bacterial cell biology and provided key molecular insights into the temporal and spatial mechanisms involved in cell morphogenesis, cell polarization, chromosome segregation and cell cycle control. For her distinguished work, she received the Pew Scholars award from the Pew Charitable Trust, the Woman in Cell Biology Junior award from the American Society of Cell Biology and the Eli Lilly award from the American Society of Microbiology. She held the Maxine F. Singer and William H. Fleming professor chairs at Yale. She was elected to the Connecticut academy of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and the National Academy of Sciences. She has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2008.
Her lab moved to Stanford in 2019. Current research examines the general principles and spatiotemporal mechanisms by which bacterial cells replicate, using Caulobacter crescentus and Escherichia coli as models. Recently, the Jacobs-Wagner lab expanded their interests to the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi, revealing unsuspected ways by which this pathogen grows and causes disease