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Taatjes, Dylan J Professor

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Research

research overview

  • The Mediator complex is a multi-subunit assembly required for regulating expression of most RNA polymerase II (pol II) transcripts, which include protein-coding and most non-coding RNA genes. Mediator is generally targeted by sequence-specific, DNA-binding transcription factors (TFs) that control gene expression programs in response to developmental or environmental cues. Mediator functions by relaying signals from TFs directly to the pol II enzyme. Thus, Mediator is essential for converting biological inputs (communicated by TFs) to physiological responses (via changes in gene expression). The Taatjes lab examines the basic mechanisms that underlie Mediator function, with the goal of identifying key molecular interfaces (and/or molecular probes to target these interfaces) that contribute to its broad regulatory influence on gene expression. We are also actively studying factors that influence Mediator structure and activity, including TFs, non-coding RNAs, and the CDK8 module.

keywords

  • Transcription, structural biology, biophysics, cryo-electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, biochemistry and molecular biology, aging, signaling, metabolism

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • BCHM 4400 - Core Concepts in Physical Chemistry for Biochemists
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Introduces thermodynamics, kinetics and spectroscopy, emphasizing macromolecule and biochemical applications. Includes thermodynamics, chemical and physical equilibriums, solution chemistry, rates of chemical and biochemical reactions, chemical bonds and principles and selected examples of spectroscopies applied to biological systems. Department enforced prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 1120 or PHYS 2020. Formerly CHEM 4411. Same as BCHM 5400 and CHEM 4511.
  • BCHM 4761 - Biochemistry Laboratory
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Two 4-hour periods per week. Introduction to modern biochemical techniques. Topics include enzymology, spectrophotometry, electrophoresis, multi-step protein purification, recombinant DNA techniques and molecular cloning. Formerly CHEM 4761.
  • BCHM 5400 - Core Concepts in Physical Chemistry for Biochemists
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Introduces thermodynamics, kinetics and spectroscopy, emphasizing macromolecule and biochemical applications. Includes thermodynamics, chemical and physical equilibriums, solution chemistry, rates of chemical and biochemical reactions, chemical bonds and principles and selected examples of spectroscopies applied to biological systems. Formerly CHEM 5411. Same as BCHM 4400 and CHEM 4511.
  • BCHM 6901 - Research in Biochemistry
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020
    Research in Biochemistry
  • CHEM 5780 - Fundamentals of Biochemistry II
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Analysis of topics in biochemistry including protein structure, methods of structure determination and prediction, protein folding, and protein dynamics. Intended as a comprehensive treatment of areas central to modern biochemistry for entering graduate students. Lectures concurrent with CHEM 5781, covering the same topics except for the requirement of a written research proposal. Formerly CHEM 5780.
  • CHEM 5781 - Advanced General Biochemistry 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Lect. Detailed consideration of contemporary topics in biochemistry, including protein structure (primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary), methods of structure determination and prediction, protein folding (kinetics, thermodynamics, denaturation, and renaturation), and protein dynamics (internal motions and methods of analysis). Formerly CHEM 5781.
  • CHEM 6901 - Research in Chemistry
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Summer 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Summer 2019 / Spring 2020
    May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours.
  • MCDB 4980 - Honors Research
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Provides faculty-supervised research for students who have been approved by the departmental honors committee. Normally taken during the semester before completion of the honors thesis. Recommended prerequisite: MCDB 4840 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.20.

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