Research Interests

Most of my work has been on the formation of aminoacyl-tRNA, an essential set of molecules in every cell ensuring the faithful translation of the genetic information. This has encompassed biochemical and genetic studies of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases which attach an amino acid directly to tRNA, of RNA modifying enzymes which furnish the amazing variety of modified nucleosides found in tRNA, and of the enzymes which convert glutamyl-tRNA to aminolevulinic acid, the first precursor in porphyrin biosynthesis. More recent work has led to the general realization that many organisms employ another process to make aminoacyl-tRNA by modifying amino acids incorrectly attached to tRNA. Analysis of these and other novel translational components, particularly in Archaea, provide new insights into the evolution of early translation systems.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 21: Biochemistry