Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMentor Name: Yuichiro Takagi
- Internship Location:
- Pre Professional Interests Preferred:
Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy
- Majors Preferred:
Biomedical Engineering, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Physics
- Hours per week:
- Flexible within regular work hours
- We study how large molecular machines function in gene expressions utilizing approaches from synthetic and structural biology and synthetic and structural biology of molecular machines in gene expressions. The research in my laboratory focuses on the large multi-protein complexes, termed Mediator, that controls gene expression in eukaryotes. Gene expression defines almost all biological activities such as embryonic stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, development, and aging. Therefore, elucidation of the mechanisms of Mediator function(s) is essential to understand biology. We investigate the Mediator function by utilizing synthetic biology—advanced molecular cloning and protein complex engineering, and structural biology—cryo-electron microscopy (EM) and X-ray crystallography. We utilize functional genomics, biochemical assays, and yeast genetics as well. The current projects ongoing in my lab include 1) structure determination of the entire Mediator complex, 2) structure-guided mechanistic studies of Mediator function, 3) reconstitution of multi-protein complexes involved in gene expression, and 4) technology development for advanced protein expression system and purification methods.
- Internship Duties:
- The typical duties of a student may include, but is not limited to, 1) computational DNA design and generation of designed DNA constructs, 2) protein expression and purification, 3) crystallization trials, 4) RNA preparation for gene chip analysis, 5) preparation of plates for yeast and bacteria, and 6) phenotypic analysis of the mutant yeast strains. Students who are interested in the multidiscipline approaches (e.g., biochemistry, bioengineering, genetics, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and structural biology) are encouraged to apply.
- Basic coursework in biology, biochemistry, and chemistry is preferable; experience in basic techniques in molecular biology is helpful, but not required. A student with good analytical and engineering sense and skills is preferred.