Alan M. Lambowitz
Mr. & Mrs. A. Frank Smith, Jr. and Nancy Lee & Perry R. Bass Regents Chairs In Molecular Biology
Director, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology
Main Office: MBB 1.220C
Alternate Office: MBB 2.234BA
Alt. Phone: (512) 471-4778
The University of Texas at Austin
Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology
2500 Speedway Stop A4800
Austin ,TX 78712-1191
Research SummaryOur laboratory studies gene expression, RNA splicing, catalytic RNAs, and retroviral-like genetic elements, including
possible ancestors of HIV-1 and leukemia viruses. We are interested in mechanisms of RNA catalysis, how proteins
assist folding of large RNAs, mechanisms involved in intron mobility, the evolution of introns and splicing mechanisms,
and the origin of retroviruses and reverse transcription.
Autocatalytic group I and group II introns are both catalytic RNAs and mobile genetic elements that insert efficiently into specific DNA target sites. Recent findings showing that mobile group II introns can be retargeted to insert into virtually any desired DNA target have suggested novel approaches for using these introns in genetic engineering,
functional genomics, and gene therapy.