About the Webinar

Manipulation of gene expression and activity is a standard approach to evaluate gene function in living organisms. However, current genetic tools for manipulation of gene expression are rather tuned towards complete loss of gene function; they are organism specific, show unpredictable alterations in gene activity (dependent on tissue or cell types within the organism) and change spatial-temporal regulation of gene expression. Hypomorphic mutations, partial loss of gene function, are a valuable tool for both genetic analysis of gene function and for synthetic biology applications. Dr. Djuranovic will present a simple and predictable method to generate hypomorphic mutations in model organisms that targets specific step of translation cycle - translation elongation. This method can be used in industry for control of biosynthetic pathways in production of useful secondary metabolites, antibiotics or recombinant antibodies; in synthetic biology for introduction of controllable retrosynthetic and fully engineered pathways; as well as in basic research for ultimate control of gene regulatory pathways in the modelling of diseases.

About the Presenter


Dr. Sergej Djuranovic received his Ph.D. from Eberhard Karls University and Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany. There he worked under the supervision of Dr. Andrei Lupas, investigating the evolution of protein structure and function from ancestral sets of peptides which possibly emerged as RNA cofactors in the primordial ‘RNA world’. He also studied the structure and mechanism of action of AAA ATPases, focusing on the regulation of protein degradation by proteasomes and associated ATPases. He went to determine the structure and organization of AAA-ATPases that form the 19S sub-unit in proteasomes. In 2013, he joined faculty at the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at Washington University, School of Medicine in St. Louis. His research group is interested in understanding molecular connection and mechanics of targeted mRNA regulation both by microRNA pathway components and other post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms dependent on mRNA sequence features and RNA binding proteins.

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