Thanks for visiting! I am currently in the final stages of completing a MD/PhD dual doctoral degree in the Rutgers–Princeton Universities Program in the USA. The goal of this unique interdisciplinary training is to develop the perspective and skillset of both a physician and scientist combined. My research interests are on the most evolutionarily advanced brain structure in humans, the neocortex, which generates our complex thoughts and behaviors. I study the molecular program driving stem cells during prenatal development to ultimately wire into distinct neuronal circuits in a mature brain. The mechanism of focus is how the ribosome translates mRNA into protein, as the final essential gatekeeper of functional gene expression.

 

My PhD research in the lab of Dr. Mladen-Roko Rasin at Rutgers University analyzed mRNA translation in developing brain with a focus on RNA-binding proteins and ribosomal complex heterogeneity. Our work particularly concentrated on optimizations for ex vivo analysis of this dynamic cellular environment, including methods such as RNA/protein biochemistry, molecular biology, RNAseq, and Mass Spectrometry. We found that mRNA translation in the neocortex is highly dynamic, under the control of modular ribosomal complexes.

 

 

My postdoctoral research has focused on adapting cutting-edge technologies to analysis of the protein synthesis machinery in this complex developmental system, with the goal of visualizing neocortical mRNA translation in action to near-atomic resolution. This led me across the ocean for my postdoc to the structural biophysics lab of Prof. Dr. Christian Spahn at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin – experts in multiparticle cryo-electron microscopy, a technique awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Our structural work is being pursued in parallel with complementary analyses such as RiboSeq and Click Chemistry. Stay tuned for more about our findings!

 

Currently, I am completing my last clinical year of the MD/PhD Program, and anticipate graduation in May 2020. For more about my extracurricular clinical work, click storm above.

Matthew L. Kraushar, PhD

2019