Shoffner, Grant M. (2012-2015)


Grant is in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics.  He joined the training program in 2012. His research mentor is Dr. Feng Guo.  He received a B.A. degree in 2010 from UC Berkeley. 

Mentor: Dr. Feng Guo

Research project:


Through base-pairing to specific messenger RNA, microRNAs (miRNA) direct gene repression in critical physiological and developmental processes. Although miRNAs function as ~22-nt fragments, eukaryotic cells initially produce these RNAs as hairpin structures in long primary transcripts (pri-miRNAs). As the two components of the Microprocessor complex, the RNA-binding protein DGCR8 and ribonuclease Drosha cooperate to uniquely identify the pri-miRNA and sever the hairpin. We aim to explore the molecular mechanisms of pri-miRNA recognition and cleavage through X-ray crystallographic studies.