The Karbstein Lab

The Karbstein Lab

40S ribosome

Quality Control and Regulation of Ribosome Assembly

Ribosomes are large macromolecular machines that catalyze protein synthesis in all cells. Ribosome assembly constitutes perhaps the major metabolic activity of a growing cell, to ensure its protein synthesis capacity. Because ribosome assembly is so energy costly and only desired when cells are growing, ribosome assembly is highly regulated in response to available nutrients and external stimuli. Conversely, rapidly growing cells, such as cancer cells, have developed mechanisms to upregulate ribosome assembly.

In addition to producing enough ribosomes, cells must also ensure that the ribosomes they make are fully functional. Failure to do so is the cause of several human diseases including Diamond Blackfan Anemia, 5q- syndrome, congenital asplenia and many others. Surprisingly, these diseases are characterized not only by the growth defects expected from a lack of functional ribosomes, but also by a highly increased risk of cancer.

In our lab we study the mechanisms that cells use to regulate and quality control the assembly of ribosomes, with the goal of understanding the molecular basis for cancer when ribosomes are defective and of developing novel drug targets for cancer therapy.

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Postdoc Position Available

Postdoctoral Associate, Xin Liu, joins the lab!  Welcome Xin!

Congratulations to Max on his paper entitled, "Rps26 directs mRNA-specific translation by recognition of Kozak sequence elements"

 Max wins Best Poster at the Scripps Research Fest!

 Graduate Student, Haina Huang, joins the lab! Welcome Haina!

Congratulations to Homa on her position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at Emory University ( on October 1, 2017.

Katrin is named an HHMI Faculty Scholar! hhmi

Miriam Koch joins the lab!  Welcome Miriam!

Nickan Khoshnevis is born!  Congratulations Homa and Sohail!

Joanne Doherty joins the lab as Staff Scientist!  Welcome Joanne!

Graduate Student, Melissa Parker, joins the lab!  Welcome Melissa!

Jason Collins joins the lab!  Welcome Jason!

Sohail's poster wins best poster prize at Research Fest!

Ribosome Assembly Meeting in Brussels, August 19-23, 2015!

Graduate Student, Lizz Miguet, joins the lab!  Welcome Lizz!

Scripps awarded an NSF REU grant for undergraduate research.

Katrin wins tenure!

Homa's poster wins prize at the Scripps Research Fest!

Homa's poster wins prize at the Ribosome Meeting!

Graduate Student, Max Ferretti, joins the lab!  Welcome Max!

Karbstein Lab


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