Stephen Floor, Ph.D.


Stephen Floor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Cell and Tissue Biology
University of California, San Francisco
513 Parnassus Ave.
HSW 712
City, State, ZIP
San Francisco, CA 94143
[email protected]
Research field
Molecular Biology
Award year


The Floor lab studies how cells make decisions using RNA molecules. Most genes contain the instructions for making proteins; this information is copied into a molecule of messenger RNA (mRNA). Cells use ribosomes to “read” these instructions in mRNA to make proteins to change state or respond to changes in their environment. But what controls when and how frequently each mRNA is read? We are developing tools to understand the rules of RNA regulation in healthy human cells, cells under stress, and cells with mutations that cause human diseases. To this end, we are developing an innovative method to record the location of ribosomes or RNA-binding proteins on cellular mRNAs. Combining this and other new approaches with cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics, our lab will determine whether proteins are synthesized in orchestrated “bursts”—and how this activity is regulated by the location of mRNAs or by variations in their structure or sequence. Our findings will enhance our understanding of gene expression, the fundamental process by which organisms use their genetic blueprint to guide their growth and development. Our work will also enable control of synthetic RNA molecules to reprogram cells and as RNA therapeutics.

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