Timely and accurate decision-making is essential in every aspect of biology. Take, for example, the first few moments in a protein’s life. As a nascent polypeptide emerges from the ribosome, numerous factors vie at the ribosome exit site to influence its folding, assembly, localization, processing, and quality control. Within seconds to minutes, nascent proteins must commit to the correct biogenesis pathway. Mistakes in these decisions lead to numerous diseases rooted in defective protein homeostasis. Using protein biogenesis as a model system, our research aims to understand how accuracy is generated from noisy and degenerate molecular signals, and how it occurs in the crowded cellular environment.

Questions We Ask

  • What ensures the timely action of protein biogenesis machineries?
  • How do they sense, integrate, and transmit cellular or molecular signals?
  • How do they spatially and temporally coordinate their actions within a pathway and with one another?
  • When, where and how is energy stored and dispensed to drive their action?
  • What are the recurring regulatory modules that give rise to the remarkable efficiency and fidelity of these pathways?