The Department of Biochemistry's weekly BCH 252 seminar series is presented this week by
Dr. Gregor Blaha, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, UC Riverside
Seminar Title: “The RNA Polymerase-Ribosome Dance: Is It Hip Hop or Ballroom in Bacteria?”
Biography: Protein translation in bacteria is the focus of Dr. Blaha’s research. He was introduced to this dynamic research field during his Ph.D. training at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany. He continued to broaden his understanding of translation under the guidance of Nobel laureate Thomas Steitz at Yale University, where he determined the structure of several ribosome complexes, e.g., Blaha et al. Science 2009. This work rekindled a broader interest in translation factor EF-P and its eukaryotic homologue, eIF-5A, leading to the discovery that the translation of poly-proline stretches require the assistance of this factor. Since joining UCR in 2012, Dr. Blaha’s research has expanded beyond protein translation to include transcription and electron transfer processes, resulting in more than ten peer-reviewed publications in several high impact journals. Dr. Blaha is most recognized for his work on ribosome-RNA polymerase interactions which has transformed our understanding and reignited interest in the coupling of transcription and translation in bacteria.
Abstract: The absence of a nuclear membrane in bacteria allows the RNA to be translated while being transcribed. Here, Dr. Blaha will present data from his laboratory that suggests that the concurrence of both processes on the same RNA results in a dynamic interplay between RNA polymerase and ribosome, a dance set to the music of the genetic information flowing from DNA to RNA to protein.
Dr. Li Fan, email@example.com