Member of the National Academy of Sciences.
607 Charles Young Dr. East
Nucleic acid structure and function
RNA has increasingly been found to have a role in everything from
regulation of transcription and translation to synthesis of the ends of
chromosomes to enzymatic reactions. In order to do these things, RNA
assumes a variety of shapes and often forms specific RNA-protein
complexes. DNA can also adopt a variety of conformations besides the
Watson-Crick double helix, and its interactions with proteins are vital
to regulation of replication, transcription, and repair. My laboratory
studies the structure and function of DNA and RNA primarily using
multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, which
provides a method for determining the three-dimensional structures of
macromolecules and to study their dynamics in solution. In addition to
NMR spectroscopy, we use X-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray
scattering, and cryoelectron microscopy for our structural studies.
Structural and dynamics information is correlated with function using a
variety of biochemical and molecular biological techniques, to provide
insight into how these nucleic acids and nucleic acid-protein complexes
work in the cell and how mutations in RNA and DNA can lead to disease.
Currently, the research in my laboratory is focused on three major
topics: (1) the structure and function of telomerase, (2) biogenesis of
H/ACA RNPs, and (3) riboswitch structure and dynamics.