Use the Tab and Up, Down arrow keys to select menu items.
Biomolecular Interaction Centre
English, Japanese, Swedish
My research group is interested in understanding how complex molecular systems evolve.One project in the lab is the evolution of translation initiation in bacteria. We have streamlined E. coli translation initiation by removing two steps in the pathway by which protein synthesis initiates, and let our strains adapt via culturing during a long term evolution experiment. This work is currently being undertaken by MSc student Alannah Rickerby.PhD student Alicia Lai has evolved a lineage of bacteria that performs RNA editing. Our work shows that editing can evolve under conditions favouring genetic drift, suggesting that greater complexity is a product of low-fidelity evolution.We have been using comparative genomics and transcriptomics to examine evolution of small RNAs. We find that only a few RNAs appear genuinely ancient (i.e. tracing back to the earliest stages of life), with the vast majority appearing to have much shorter evolutionary histories. As part of this, we have pioneered a phylogeny-informed approach to identification of noncoding RNAs.With Prof. Jun Ogawa and team at Kyoto University, we are working to engineer E. coli that can produce DNA via an alternative pathway to the ubiquitous ribonucleotide reductase pathway, which all life uses to generate DNA building blocks from RNA. This work may tell us if DNA could have evolved via a simpler route than the complex reaction performed by ribonucleotide reductases.