Faculty & Research

Mary Lidstrom

Mary Lidstrom


Mary Lidstrom

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Microbiology 

Frank Jungers Endowed Chair of Engineering
Vice Provost for Research

Office: 301 Gerberding Hall
Phone: 206-543-1632


  • B.S., Oregon State University, 1973.
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin, 1975.
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1977

Research Interests 

Genomic and metabolic manipulations of methylotrophic bacteria. Genomic, physiological and metabolic modeling approaches are used to understand metabolic networks in these bacteria, with the goal of directed manipulation of key metabolic pathways and enzymes for environmentally benign chemical production from methanol.
Physiological heterogeneity of individual cells of M. extorquens AM1 to understand how the behavior of individual cells directs population outcomes during response to stress. 

Biomolecular Engineering, Metabolic Engineering

Bacteria as a group possess an almost unlimited and largely untapped catalytic resource for the chemical industry. Not only can bacteria carry out a complex array of stereospecific transformations, these can normally be accomplished in a way that eliminates production of toxic waste products. The ability to apply modern molecular techniques to a broad group of metabolically diverse bacteria, coupled to the current revolution in genomic sequence availability in biology has provided a new opportunity to exploit the metabolic potential of this large group of organisms. This research program is focused on molecular and metabolic manipulations of a specific group of bacteria, the methylotrophs, with the goal of developing environmentally sound and economically viable alternatives to current chemical production. 
Methylotrophs are bacteria that grow on methane or methanol. They contain unique metabolic pathways that allow them to grow on these simple substrates, and they contain a series of versatile oxidative enzymes involved in methylotrophic metabolism. Sophisticated genetic techniques have been developed for studying and manipulating these enzymes and metabolic pathways, and genomic sequences are becoming available for key strains. Therefore, this group of bacteria represent an excellent system for developing biologically based chemical production strategies. 

Recent Publications

  • Yang, S., Nadeau, J.S., Humston-Fulmer, E.M., Hoggard, J.C., Lidstrom, M.E., Synovec, R.E. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with chemometric analysis for determining C-12 and C-13 labeled contribution in metabolomics and C-13 flux analysis. Journal of Chromatography A 2012, 1240: pp. 154-164.
  • Sauter, L.M., Latypova, E., Smalley, N.E., Lidstrom, M.E., Hallam, S., Kalyuzhnaya, M.G. Methanotrophic communities of Saanich Inlet: A microcosm perspective. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 2012, 34(3): pp. 198-203.
  • Kalyuzhnaya, M.G., Beck, D.A.C., Vorobev, A., Smalley, N., Kunkel, D.D., Lidstrom, M.E., Chistoserdova, L. Novel methylotrophic isolates from lake sediment, description of Methylotenera versatilis sp nov and emended description of the genus Methylotenera. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 2012, 62: pp. 106-111.
  • Yang, S., Synovec, R.E., Kalyuzhnaya, M.G., Lidstrom, M.E. Development of a solid phase extraction protocol coupled with liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to analyze central carbon metabolities in lake sediment microcosms. Journal of Separation Science 2011, 34(24): pp. 3597-3605.
  • Skovran, E., Palmer, A.D., Rountree, A.M., Good, N.M., Lidstrom, M.E. XoxF is Required for Expression of Methanol Dehydrogenase in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1. Journal of Bacteriology 2011, 193(21): pp. 6032-6038.
  • Beck, D.A.C., Hendrickson, E.L., Vorobev, A., Wang, T.S., Lim, S., Kalyuzhnaya, M.G., Lidstrom, M.E., Hackett, M., Chistoserdova, L. An Integrated Proteomics/Transcriptomics Approach Points to Oxygen as the Main Electron Sink for Methanol Metabolism in Methylotenera mobilis. Journal of Bacteriology 2011, 193(18): pp. 4758-4765.
  • Konopka, M.C., McQuaide, S., Ojala, D.S., Kalyuzhnaya, M.G., Lidstrom, M.E. Single Cell Methods for Methana Oxidation Analysis. Methods in Enzymology: Methods in Methane Metabolism, Vol. 495, PT B 2011: pp. 149-166.
  • Konopka, M.C., Strovas, T.J., Ojala, D.S., Chistoserdova, L., Lidstrom, M.E., Kalyuzhnaya, M.G. Respiration Response Imaging for Real-Time Detection of Microbial Funcation at the Single-Cell Level. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2011, 77(10): pp. 67-72.
  • Skovran, E., Crowther, G.J., Guo, X.F., Yang, S., Lidstrom, M.E. A Systems Biology Approach Uncovered Cellular Strategies Used by Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 During the Switch from Multi- to Single-Carbon Growth. Plos One 2010, 5(11).
  • Yang, S., Sadilek, M., Lidstrom, M.E. Streamlined pentafluorophenylpropyl column liquid chromatography-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry and golbal C-13-labeled internal standards improve performance for quantitative metabolomics in bacteria. Journal of Chrimatography A. 2010, 1217(47): pp. 7401-7410.