A central theme in cellular and molecular biology focuses on how genes are expressed, including the synthesis of primary transcripts by RNA polymerases, the processing of primary transcripts to produce mature mRNAs, inter-compartmental transport of mRNAs to sites of translation, translation of mRNA by polyribosomes, and finally the processing and decay of the protein products. A major strength of the faculty involves studies on the mechanisms of transcription initiation, elongation, and termination. These studies utilize state-of-the-art molecular, biochemical, and genetic approaches and diverse systems ranging from E. coli to man.
Given the critical role of chromatin structure in transcriptional control, significant research strength also exists in the analysis of chromatin structure/function. Information about cromatin and epigenetics research on campus can be found at epigenetics.wisc.edu. In addition, strong expertise exists in the analysis of how cellular signaling mechanisms impact transcription and other nuclear processes.
The Transcriptional Mechanisms Focal Group provides an exciting forum for the presentation and discussion of the latest research advances and for the development of collaborative interactions between participating laboratories. There is also a Chromatin/Transcription Group Seminar once a month. Contact the focus group chair for more information.