Research Interests

The long-term goal of our major areas of work is to understand the molecular mechanisms that control eukaryotic mRNAs in the cytoplasm with a specifc focus on the control of translation and stability. We often use bakers yeast as an ideal model system, although in many cases we extend our work to metazoan cells. The major contributions of the lab over the years (as well as from other groups) have been as follows. First, we identified the major pathways of mRNA turnover in eukaryotes, which initiates with poly(A) tail shortening and then either triggers 3' to 5' degradation of the mRNA body, or decapping, leading to 5' to 3' exonucleolysis. Second, we identified many of the major nucleases of mRNA degradation and their regulators including the decapping enzyme, the 3' to 5' decay complexes, and the deadenylases. Third, we have provided evidence that decapping and translation initiation are in competition and that many of the factors promoting decapping do so by interfering with translation initiation. Finally, we have contributed to the identification of cytoplasmic mRNP granules containing non-translating mRNP (P-bodies and stress granules), and are currently studying their biological significance. In addition, the lab has a continuing interest in identifying and understanding the mechanisms of RNA quality control and their biological significance.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 21: Biochemistry

Secondary Section

Section 26: Genetics