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Johnson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Katsura Asano

Division of Biology
Departmental Website

“The central dogma of gene expression states that DNA makes RNA that makes proteins. Proteins are synthesized on a small cellular particle called the ribosome. We work with yeast to study fundamental processes important for the ribosome to start protein synthesis. As in insects and other eukaryotic organisms, the yeast ribosome and associated protein factors are surprisingly similar to those found in humans. By studying how a specific triplet of ribonucleotide bases — messenger RNA building blocks — serves as an accurate start site for ribosomes’ protein synthesis, we hope to determine what causes the alterations in gene expression that often lead to cancer. By gaining a better understanding of how cancer is generated by genetic lesions, we hope to eventually help develop drug therapies to correct these errors.”