We are thrilled to announce that Rachel Niederer as agreed to join us as a faculty member in Biological Chemistry, the Center for RNA Biomedicine, and the LSI.
About Dr. Rachel Niederer:
Dr. Niederer completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park in Biochemistry and Cell Biology/Molecular Genetics where she worked with Dr. Jon Dinman to study the effect of RNA modifications on translational fidelity. She went on to obtain her Ph.D. from John Hopkins under the mentorship of Dr. David Zappula, where she defined shared structural and functional features in telomerase RNA and explored the transcriptional response to telomere loss and senescence. Dr. Niederer carried out postdoctoral studies first with Dr. Melissa Moore at the University of Massachusetts and then (when Dr. Moore moved to Moderna) with Dr. Wendy Gilbert at Yale studying mechanisms of translational control. Rachel developed a novel method to rapidly and quantitatively measure ribosome recruitment to thousands of 5’-UTR sequences to define features controlling translation initiation. This approach, termed Direct Analysis of Ribosome Targeting (DART), published this spring in Cell Systems, has uncovered hundreds of new, functional RNA elements in yeast that differ in their ability to recruit ribosomes and to act as sequence-specific translational repressors.
Future Scientific Plans:
Dr. Niederer’s laboratory will explore mechanisms of translational control. She will bring a new set of cutting-edge approaches for studying translation initiation to the Department of Biological Chemistry, the Center for RNA Biomedicine, and the broader UM community.