John Moran

John Moran, Ph.D.

Gilbert S. Omenn Collegiate Professor of Human Genetics
Accepting new students?
Research Interests:
Mobile Genetic Elements; Human Genome structure, function, and evolution; molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics
Trainings and Identities:
MORE Mentor Training, Implicit Bias Training

The goal of our laboratory is to understand how an abundant class of "jumping genes," known as retrotransposons, affects the structure and function of human genomes. In particular, we study Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) retrotransposons. The average human genome is estimated to contain ~80-100 active LINE-1s that are able to mobilize (i.e., retrotranspose) to new genomic locations by a copy and paste mechanism termed target-site primed reverse transcription. On occasion, LINE-1 retrotransposition events can disrupt gene function, and de novo LINE-1 insertions have led to sporadic cases of genetic disease. Since starting my laboratory at the University of Michigan, we have used genetic, molecular biological, biochemical, and modern genomic and computational approaches to address the following questions: (1) What is the molecular mechanism of LINE-1 retrotransposition? (2) How do LINE-1 retrotransposition events affect the human genome? (3) What cellular factors promote or restrict LINE-1 retrotransposition? and (4) How does LINE-1 retrotransposition contribute to intra- and inter-individual genetic variation? We welcome motivated graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to join our team. Please contact Dr. Moran at ([email protected]) if you are interested in learning more about our research.