Our cells are like machines. Genes in our DNA are the instructions to produce each part (proteins, RNA, and other molecules). Each part must be accurately produced in the right amount for cells to work properly. Mistakes in these processes cause many diseases, including cancer.
Messenger RNA sequences instruct the cell what protein part to make, and influence how much is made. Other RNA molecules also affect how cells work. Our lab studies how these processes work normally and how they are altered in human diseases.
Left: human cells turned green by genetic engineering using CRISPR/Cas9.
We study the many ways RNA influences human gene expression. How do mRNA sequences specify protein production levels? How do changes to the biophysics of RNA in cells influence gene expression, and what role(s) do RNA chaperones play? How are these processes changed in human diseases, and can the changes be corrected?
Remodeling of RNA by DEAD-box RNA chaperones
DEAD-box proteins use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to remodel RNA structures and RNA-protein complexes. We study how DEAD-box proteins influence gene expression through mechanical work.
Translational output of the human transcriptome
Most human genes give rise to multiple mRNAs through alternative mRNA processing. Each mRNA may include different coding sequences, regulatory sequences, or both. We measure how well different mRNAs are translated and use this information to control transgene expression.
RNA in developmental disorders and cancer
DEAD-box proteins and other aspects of RNA biology are altered in numerous human diseases. We are studying how alteration of the DEAD-box protein DDX3 drives formation of the brain tumor medulloblastoma, and other RNA-related processes in disease.
Cell biophysics & phase separation of RNA
RNA molecules exist in a crowded cytoplasm. RNA and RNA-binding proteins partition into phase-separated RNA granules under some conditions. We investigate the role of RNA chaperones like DEAD-box proteins in this balance.
The Floor Lab launches July 2017!
Richardson, C.D., et al., Floor SN and Corn J.
bioRxiv (preprint) (2017)
Staahl BT, Benekareddy M, Coulon-Bainier C, Banfal AA, Floor SN, et al., Doudna JA.
Nature Biotechnology (2017)
Iwasaki S, Floor SN, Ingolia NT.
We're always excited to talk with people interested in the lab! Applicants, journalists, educators - get in touch!
Active recruitments: postdocs (to start in late 2017 or 2018)
Postdoc applicants email Stephen with your CV, why you'd like to work in the lab, and contact information for your references.
For info about what it's like to be a postdoc at UCSF and associated policies, click here.
The Floor lab welcomes people of any race, religion, national origin, gender, political affiliation, sexual orientation, and eligible age or disability.