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Regulation of Transcriptional Machinery and Its Relationship to Disease


Transcription is the process in which our genetic information in the form of DNA is first utilized to create the machinery, structural integrity, and regulatory components that allows for cells to simply survive. While there are many, many, many regulatory modes and mechanisms that govern processes from enzyme catalysis to cell differentiation (and everything in between), the regulation of transcription is the initial decision to ‘put the players on the pitch.’ Transcriptional regulation is immensely complex, as it rightfully should be, as it is required for both simple procedures, for example simply increasing the mRNA copy number of a single species in response to a cellular cue, to intricately coordinated events such as decisions regarding cell fate. Transcription factors are the protein components that interplay between environmental cues and gene expression. In particular, nuclear receptors are ligand dependent transcription factors that are modulated by a small molecule ligand which provides information about a particular metabolic pathway. The focus of my research has been a biochemical and structural understanding of how this subset of transcriptional machinery is implicated in the etiology of disease.

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