Rotation Opportunities presented at the BCB Faculty Seminar

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 4:10pm
Event Type: 


Walter Moss
BCB Faculty Member in the Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology Department


Interested in structural bioinformatics, transcriptomics and biological sequence analysis with a special focus on noncoding RNAs. 


Expertise: Noncoding RNA discovery; RNA structure and function

RNA is considered by many to be the primordial molecule of life. The major component of the ribosome—the most ancient organelle, which is shared between all living things—is ribosomal (r)RNA; which also forms the catalytic center necessary for protein production. The instructions needed for producing proteins is encoded within messenger (m)RNA, which is decoded by the ribosome by way of transfer (t)RNA. Beyond the classical RNAs involved in protein synthesis, a wide array of noncoding (nc)RNAs exist that mediate important biological processes: e.g. regulation of gene expression, mRNA splicing, post-transcriptional modification, chromatin structure, and more. In the vast majority of cases, we know almost nothing about the function of ncRNA (the transcriptional “dark matter”); however, function is inferred from the differential expression/processing of ncRNAs (e.g. in diseases such as cancer) or from their evolutionary conservation. An important feature of all functional RNAs, is the central role played by molecular structure. RNAs can fold back on themselves to form complex 2D (base paired) and 3D (atomic arrangement) shapes. These shapes govern how RNAs interact with other biomolecules (e.g. proteins, nucleic acids and small-molecules), form catalytic centers, determine molecular stability (e.g. lifetime) of RNA, and more. The major goal of the Moss Lab is to identify RNA sequences with a high propensity to form structure, deduce their structures, functions, and the roles played by structure.

More information is available on his Faculty Page.

3256 Molecular Biology Building


Edward Yu
Physics and Astronomy Department


Dr. Yu's research focuses on elucidating the structure and function of membrane proteins using x-ray crystallography.  His lab page is here:

From the BCB webpage, :  “We currently focus on studying bacterial antibiotic resistance mediated by active multi-drug efflux transporters. Our long-term goal is to elucidate the structures and fundamental mechanisms that give rise to multiple drug recognition and extrusion in these multi-drug transporters. In addition, our laboratory addresses fundamental questions regarding the nature of multi-drug recognition and gene regulation in transcriptional regulators. These regulators control the expression of multi-drug efflux transporters in bacteria by sensing the presence of a variety of structurally unrelated toxic compounds in the environment. Our experimental approach mainly utilizes x-ray crystallography to elucidate toxic chemical binding and export by these membrane efflux transporters.”

A115 Zaffarano


Nicole Valenzuela
Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology


We are interested in studying how ecology affects the structure, function, and evolution of the genome and its role in the development and evolution of complex phenotypes. This helps us understand the evolution of biological diversity and how it responds to environmental change.


Positions are available for individuals interested in evolutionary biology, sex determination, evo-devo, chromosome and genome evolution, or climate change. Click here for details.

Lab Website: