Areas of Interest
The ribosome is the molecular machine responsible for translating mRNA into protein. mRNAs are post-transcriptionally modified, and presumably their stability and translatability are affected by these modifications, akin to the post-translational modification (e.g. acetylation, phosphorylation) of proteins. There is emerging evidence suggesting that RNA modifications contribute to a wide variety of diseases including cancer, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes. Work in our lab seeks to unlock the ‘RNA epigenetic code’ by uncovering how post-transcriptional modifications alter mRNA structure, translation, and stability, and by identifying how the ribonucleoprotein content of different mRNAs is controlled by their modification status.
We take an integrated approach, combining the power of mechanistic enzymology, biophysical chemistry, cell-based studies, and genome-wide (ribosome profiling) techniques to investigate the molecular level mechanisms of events that occur when mRNAs are modified. The breadth of techniques used in our lab uniquely positions us to understand how alterations in translation and translation regulation impact disease.