We’ve been putting a lot of effort into studying the ribosome. The ribosome is particularly important for proteins — it’s where the messenger RNA (mRNA) is converted into proteins, i.e. where proteins are "born."
We are interested in the ribosome for several reasons. First off, it is an interesting structure potentially relevant for the very first stages of protein folding. While you can’t see it from the figure on the right, there is a tunnel running through the middle of the ribosome and it’s through that tunnel that proteins exit and are "born" to so speak.
Because the tunnel is a tight space, the tunnel is also a natural target for drugs (eg to kill bacteria via plugging up their ribosomes), but I’ll talk about that in another post.
Our work on the ribosome is funded through an NSF Center for pushing the Frontiers in Biology Research (FIBR) grant, and I’ll talk more about ours results there are time goes on.