Structure and Function of Introns and Retroelements
The projects in our lab focus on the structure and function of non-coding regions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. Two genetic elements particularly abdundant in these organisms are introns and retroelements. For example, ~50% of the human genome consists of spliceosomal introns and non-LTR retroelements. Both of these are considered to have evolved from a class of introns which orginated in bacteria billions of years ago called the group II introns. Group II introns share many structural and/or biochemical features with spliceosomal introns and non-LTR retroelements.