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Personal profile

Research Interests

Research Topics

Neurobiology, Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions, Regulation of Gene Expression

Disease Research Interests

Neurological and Behavioral Disorders


B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Bacteriology)
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Genetics)
Postdoctoral fellow, University of Chicago
Postdoctoral fellow, Emory University

Professional Information

Molecular basis of disease, post-translational modifications, regulation of RNA expression, RNA-protein interactions

The fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP is required for normal cognition: when it is absent, the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, fragile X syndrome (FXS) results. Thus, FMRP is a molecular entry point for understanding normal brain function. FMRP is an RNA binding protein that binds ~4% of brain mRNAs and regulates their expression—either enhancing or suppressing translation by an unknown mechanism. Bursts of protein translation are required for normal development and neuronal function but it is unknown how this process is regulated. We identified the RNA helicase MOV10 as a novel interactor of FMRP. MOV10 is elevated in developing brain and is required for viability as well as normal dendritic arborization and mouse behavior. Our goal is to understand how these RNA binding proteins function to facilitate learning and memory.

Office Address

Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology
University of Illinois
601 S. Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone

(217) 244-6793


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