Ribonucleic acid (RNA) biology has emerged as one of the most influential areas in modern biology and biomedicine. The discovery of numerous new classes of RNAs and their functions in a wide spectrum of biological processes has revolutionized molecular biology, with profound implications for clinical sciences. Key areas of current research include the elucidation of RNA biogenesis pathways, the determination of RNA structures, the identification of functions for the various classes of RNAs, establishing the role of RNA in disease, and the exploration of RNA-based- and RNA-targeted therapies. There are a great many scientists out there making a dent in the universe with their ideas and theories. We bring to you the names of a few recognized researchers who are making interesting and significant advancements in the field of RNA Biology and transcription. Their research is both inspiring and thought-provoking.
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Eberly Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
201 Althouse Laboratory University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-8705
RNA Polymerases and RNA-binding Proteins in Viral Infection and Mitochondrial Disease: Since its inception, the primary goal of this laboratory has been the development of strategies to treat or to prevent infections by RNA viruses. The members of this lab have used poliovirus and hepatitis C virus (HCV) as their primary model systems. Their expertise in virology, biochemistry and mechanistic enzymology brings a unique combination of intellectual and technical resources to the study of RNA viruses. Their initial focus was the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). In particular, they are interested in the kinetic, thermodynamic and structural basis for fidelity of nucleotide incorporation, a topic of considerable importance not only for accurate maintenance, transmission and expression of genetically encoded information but also for targeting the RdRp for antiviral therapy. These studies have led to exciting discoveries that have moved the lab into many new areas, including enzyme dynamics, vesicular trafficking, innate immunity, vaccine development and mitochondrial molecular biology. Their work is highly collaborative and includes research teams from academia (local, national and international), government and industry. They currently have projects in the following areas: RNA-dependent RNA polymerase mechanism, Picornavirus genome replication, Flavivirus genome replication, Enzymology of the flavivirus replicate, and Mitochondrial transcription and disease.