K. Heran Darwin is a Professor of Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. Her fundamental research focuses on understanding how Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is able to avoid eradication by robust mammalian immunity. Her work revealed that Mtb uses a proteasome similar to those used by eukaryotes to protect against the antimicrobial effects of macrophage-produced nitric oxide. Over the years, her lab has revealed the biochemistry of proteasome-mediated degradation in Mtb, including the discovery of the first post-translational protein-to-protein modifier in a prokaryote. In addition, her group determined that the Mtb proteasome not only affects nitric oxide resistance but also provides protection against copper, which has recently become appreciated as an important antimicrobial effector in vivo. Her lab continues to focus on elucidating the numerous roles the Mtb proteasome plays in the virulence of arguably the world's most successful pathogen.