Professor Johnson's lab is interested in how ribosomes are transported from their site of assembly in the nucleus to their site of function in the cytoplasm. And once in the cytoplasm, how are they "unpackaged" and activated for translation. They use yeast as a model eukaryotic organism because it offers a greater "tool kit" of reagents and techniques than practically any other system available. In their work, they combine genetic, cell biology, molecular biology and biochemical techniques. Although they do not work directly on disease, their work reveals highly conserved fundamental cellular pathways that are important for understanding cell function and providing context for disease-related research.
Undergraduate projects in Professor Johnson's lab will vary depending on the student's skills, interests and current projects in my lab. Potential projects are: to use fluorescence microscopy to examine the connection between translation and nuclear recycling of ribosome biogenesis factors. Domain swapping between the nuclear export factor Nmd3 and related proteins to test their evolutionary origin and possible overlap of function. To generate dominant mutations in a GTPase that is important in ribosome biogenesis.
Affiliated Research Units
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