Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Education
Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Gene Expression; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Molecular Basis of Disease; Molecular genetics; Protein Function and Structure; Transcription and Translation
Our laboratory uses genetic, biochemical and molecular biological approaches to study the molecular mechanisms of eukaryotic transcription initiation and regulation. Studies in our laboratory utilizing both the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human cells have resulted in the identification and biochemical characterization of mutants of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) and the general transcription factors TFIIB and TFIIF that coordinately affect transcription start site utilization and transcript elongation. These studies support a model where yeast and human TFIIF induce conformational changes in RNAPII that result in structural and functional changes in the polymerase active center.