Olivier Duss, Ph.D.

Co-transcriptional ribosome assembly in real-time

Ribosomes are efficiently assembled from a large number of RNA and protein components (>50) within a few minutes in vivo. While the whole body of research has focused on the assembly from a pre-transcribed ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and proteins, it has remained elusive how the ribosome is assembled when the rRNA is being actively transcribed in the presence of the ribosomal proteins, a situation more representative of the one in a living cell. Another caveat in the past ribosome assembly work, is that almost all mechanistic findings are based on ensemble biophysical methods in which binding of each ribosomal protein is detected as the average state of all populations in which it is present.
Using single molecule spectroscopy, I aim to investigate in real time how co-transcription of the rRNA influences protein binding during assembly of the small 30S ribosomal subunit and what is the impact of ribosomal assembly factors and potential small molecule drugs on ribosome assembly.

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Education:
Ph. D. in Molecular Biology & Biophysics at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) with Prof. Frédéric H.-T. Allain
Ph. D. project: “Assembly, 70 kDa solution structure and mechanism of action of the bacterial non-coding RNA RsmZ in complex with the global regulatory protein RsmE”

Master degree in Chemistry (specialized in Analytical and Physical Chemistry) at ETH Zurich (Switzerland)

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