Programs: Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology, Genetics, Molecular Microbiology
- BS, Chemistry, MIT
- MSc, Neuroscience, MIT
- PhD, Microbiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- Postdoctoral Training, Pasteur Institute; MIT
My research group studies maturation of eukaryotic mRNA through an essential and conserved process called polyadenylation. Functional mRNAs are not made without this processing step, and cells also use it to regulate gene expression during development, differentiation, or in response to external signals. Our goal is to determine the molecular mechanisms of mRNA polyadenylation, its regulation in response to changes in cell status, and its coordination with other nuclear processes such as transcription and DNA damage repair. We use biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics and whole-genome expression analysis to study these issues. Most eukaryotic genes have multiple poly(A) sites, and choice of poly(A) site can have profound effects on the type and amount of protein made from a particular gene. We are particularly interested in understanding mechanisms that lead to such alternative polyadenylation, both in normal cells and in disease states such as cancer or chronic stress.