About Our Research

The translation of the genetic code is a highly regulated process that is fundamental to life. All cells have evolved elaborate mechanisms for determining which RNA messages get translated, how frequently and where they are translated, and whether errors occur. We employ high-throughput approaches such as ribosome profiling, biochemical techniques, and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to investigate how translation is regulated to control the expression of genes in yeast and mammalian cultured cells.

Current work is focused on the final stages of translation when the newly-synthesized protein is released and the ribosomal subunits are recycled for reuse. Failure at this step results in a non-canonical reinitiation event and translation of the 3’UTR. We’re also examining how failure of recycling during viral infection and nutrient limitation functions in the cell’s response to these stresses.

Research in this section is aimed at understanding the mechanism of mRNA translation by the ribosome and the functional outcomes of translational regulation.

Since translation is a key step in the expression of genes, this work will inform development of therapies for numerous diseases, including cancer and infectious disease.

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