Dr. Ambro van Hoof
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
The research in my laboratory is directed at understanding post-transcriptional mechanisms regulating gene expression. The main focus within this area is on the degradation of mRNA. mRNA degradation plays several important roles. First, mRNA degradation is an essential part of the normal expression of genes. Second, defective mRNAs are recognized by the cell and rapidly degraded in a process termed mRNA surveillance. Finally, the mRNA degrading machinery plays a poorly characterized role in keeping RNA viruses under control. Since the mRNA degrading machinery appears to be conserved in all eukaryotes, my lab studies these processes in the easily manipulated yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
A tutorial in my laboratory would expose a student to a wide variety of molecular biological, genetic and biochemical techniques. For example, basic cloning, analysis of RNA by Northern blotting, screening for and characterizing yeast mutants, or analysis of proteins and their interactions.