Congrats Bill on the ACS Biochemistry perspective!
Check it out here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.biochem.6b01106
Congrats Alex and Bill on the RNA manuscript!
Check it out here: http://rnajournal.cshlp.org/content/22/8/1250.long
Areas of interest: Protein coding genes represent approximately 2-3% of the total human genome, yet transcriptome mapping has recently revealed that at least 76% of the human genome is transcribed into RNA. Although the majority of our genome remains poorly understood, it is now clear that RNA molecules play a central role, coordinating intertwined layers of regulation that extend far beyond its role as a messenger. RNA is ideally suited to orchestrate this biological diversity because it is the only macromolecule that can both carry genetic information and perform chemical reactions by acting as an enzyme. We are currently at a fascinating frontier of RNA discovery and are only beginning to comprehend the 'other' 76% of the genome, how tertiary RNAs function in biology, and how RNA molecules interact with macromolecular protein complexes.
We investigate the function and conformational dynamics of RNA-protein (RNP) interactions involved in key biological processes, from chromatin regulation to post-transcriptional gene regulation. We are interested in:
1) Elucidating RNA-protein assemblies involved in gene expression.
2) Defining specificity and recognition during transfer RNA processing
3) And unraveling new mechanisms of RNA-chromatin interactions
We utilize structural biology tools and transcriptome-wide approaches to decipher key interactions at the RNA-protein interface and explore how these RNAs might be therapeutically targeted.
Left: Lab logo (Adapted from the famous, local Hatch Print Show posters of Nashville, TN).
Right: Region of the Ribonuclease (RNase) P-tRNA structure showing the substrate region (purple, P-1 to P-5) extending from the active site metal ions (pink spheres) and embedded within a protein surface region that is conserved (green) across bacteria.