Our research program is focused on developing genetic reporters to study biological processes in living systems. Within this goal, we focus on anaerobic microorganisms and vertebrate animals. These two systems, while distinct, share the unique misfortune of being incompatible with the green fluorescent protein (GFP), undoubtedly the best-established reporter gene for imaging cellular function. My lab develops new classes of genetic reporters that can penetrate deep tissues (by magnetic resonance) or become fluorescent without oxygen (by binding to flavins), thereby expanding the benefits of reporter gene imaging to "GFP-invisible" biological processes. Our research is driven by the vast demand for imaging agents that can be genetically expressed inside cells to study biological function in the context of intact animals and to aid the engineering of living human cells and anaerobic microorganisms for cell-based diagnosis and therapy.