Sofia Origanti, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
The research program strives to understand the translational control of normal and diseased states. Protein synthesis is a complex process that ensures organismal homeostasis by controlling the quantity and quality of the proteome. Regulation of gene expression at the translational level provides a temporal advantage by eliciting rapid fluctuations in protein levels in response to changes in the cellular environment. Protein synthesis is one of the most energy-demanding processes in the cell and the high energy cost of protein production requires the cell to closely monitor and regulate the translational machinery to ensure proper growth and survival under conditions of stress. In response to diverse physiological and pathological states, several signaling pathways are activated that converge on the translational machinery to alter the rates of synthesis and dictate the types of protein being synthesized. The pervasiveness of translational control is evident in the genesis and progression of diseases such as cancer that are often a consequence of deregulated protein synthesis. Such deregulation presents an excellent opportunity to selectively target the translational machinery for therapeutic advancement. Origanti is primarily interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the 60S ribosomal factors and their contributions to translational control in response to nutrient stress, genotoxic stress and other stressors in specific cell types.
Labs and Facilities
Origanti Lab webpage: www.origantilab.org