Activity mediated protein synthesis is a fundamental aspect of all multicellular systems. My lab is interested in understanding the regulation of activity mediated protein synthesis in the nervous system during neuronal development and plasticity. While the signaling cascades are responsible for sensing and interpreting the external milieu, the actual regulation of translation is heavily ‘RNA centric’ and is conducted by specific RNA binding proteins which acts as ‘molecular switches’.  These RNA binding proteins and their interaction with the protein synthesis machinery including ribosomes are critical in neuronal development and are responsible for many neurodevelopmental disorders. Our approach is to understand the function of these RNA binding proteins along with different classes of RNA and attempt to unravel the mechanism of synaptic protein synthesis.

In addition, we are also studying ‘RNA mediated pathology’ in neurodegenerative disorders. Here we use human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and embryonic stem cells (ESC) as our model system. We are investigating the role of noncoding RNAs and ribosome heterogeneity in regulating synaptic translation and energy dynamics in the neurons derived from stem cell models of Alzheimer’s disease.