and Function

Current Projects

We use a combination of biochemical, crystallographic and electron microscopic techniques to study the mechanism of translation by ribosomes. Some projects currently being studied in the lab are:

  • Structures of intermediates along the translation pathway in bacteria. We are trying to crystallize the ribosomes in complex with mRNA, tRNA and various factors in functional states during initiation, elongation and termination.
  • The complex of the eukaryotic 40S ribosomal subunit with initiation factors. We have begun work on trying to understand the interactions of initiation factors with the 40S ribosomal subunit, mRNA and initiator tRNA, as well as the conformational changes induced by the binding of these factors. This work will initially involve cryoelectron microscopy, but we hope to try to crystallize the more stable complexes in the future.