Nicholas Ingolia is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology. He studies the translational control of gene expression in order to learn how cells change the translation of specific genes and better understand the role of this regulation in the cell. The research in his lab makes extensive use of genome-scale approaches and deep sequencing.
The translation of mRNA into protein is a central step in gene expression. Recent studies suggest that translation affects protein levels as much as transcription. Translational control acts in diverse processes from cellular stress responses to synaptic plasticity. However, there are many gaps in our knowledge of translational regulation. We cannot predict the expression level of an mRNA from its sequence and we do not have a general framework for understanding how RNA-binding proteins affect translation.