Thanks for visiting! I am currently a Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany. My research interests focus on the most evolutionarily advanced brain structure in humans, the neocortex, which generates our complex thoughts and behaviors. I study the molecular programs during prenatal development that drive stem cells to differentiate into distinct neuronal circuits forming the mature brain. The mechanism of focus is how the ribosome translates mRNA into protein, as the final essential gatekeeper of functional gene expression. My work adapts cutting-edge technologies to analysis of the protein synthesis machinery in this complex developmental system, with the goal of visualizing neocortex mRNA translation in action at high-resolution.

 

I pursued postdoctoral training in the structural biophysics lab of Prof. Dr. Christian Spahn at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin – experts in multiparticle cryo-electron microscopy, a technique leading the "resolution revolution" in structural analysis. By solving the first structure of active protein synthesis complexes in the nervous system, we investigated mechanisms of translation control at near-atomic resolution during brain development. Our continued collaboration on this structural work is being pursued in parallel with complementary bioinformatic analyses, integrating RNAseq, RiboSeq, pSILAC Mass Spec, and Click Chemistry data.

I recently completed a MD/PhD dual doctoral degree in the Rutgers–Princeton Universities Physician-Scientist Program in the USA. The goal of this unique interdisciplinary training is to develop the perspective and skillset of both a physician and scientist. My PhD research in the lab of Dr. Mladen-Roko Rasin at Rutgers University analyzed mRNA translation in the developing brain with a focus on RNA-binding proteins and ribosomal complexes. Our work concentrated on optimizations for ex vivo analysis of this dynamic cellular environment, including methods in RNA/protein biochemistry, molecular biology, RNAseq, and Mass Spec. We found that mRNA translation in the neocortex is highly dynamic, under the control of modular ribosomal complexes. For more about my clinical work, click storm above.

Matthew L. Kraushar, PhD, MD

2020