Welcome to the Koutmou Lab!

The ribosome is the molecular machine responsible for translating mRNA into protein. We are broadly interested in how translation is altered by the post-transcriptional modification of mRNAs. There are over 100 known mRNA modifications which presumably affect the stability and translatability of these molecules, akin post-translational modification (e.g. acetylation, phosphorylation) of proteins. There is emerging evidence suggesting that modifications contribute to a wide variety of diseases including cancer, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes. Work in our lab seeks to unlock the ‘RNA epigenetic code’ by uncovering how post-transcriptional modifications alter mRNA structure, translation, and stability, and identifying how the ribonucleoprotein content of different mRNAs is controlled by their modification status.