The Charette Ribosome Assembly and Ribosomopathy Lab is headed by Dr. Michael Charette, Ph.D. He trained under world leaders in the RNA biology and ribosome assembly field. His Ph.D. supervisor, Dr. Michael W. Gray, Ph.D., is one of the fathers of rRNA evolution and his post-doctoral mentor, Dr. Susan J. Baserga, M.D./Ph.D., is the discoverer of the SSU processome and a world-leading figure in the ribosome assembly and ribosomopathy fields. Dr. Charette has considerable expertise in multiple biomedical research areas, including molecular biology, biochemistry, RNA biology, yeast genetics, systems biology, molecular evolution, and bioinformatics.
The aim of the Charette Ribosome Assembly and Ribosomopathy research group is to better understand ribosome assembly and the molecular pathogenesis of ribosomopathies, a newly described group of ribosome assembly disorders that includes select developmental disorders and all cancers. We are particularly interested in the structure, function, and regulation of the SSU processome and in a ribosomopathy that is present in our own back yard, Bowen-Conradi Syndrome. We use a variety of different molecular approaches centered around our favorite model organism, yeast! This includes the genetic depletion of ribosome assembly factors, pre-rRNA processing and ribosome assembly assays, the yeast two-hybrid system to map protein-protein interactions, the creation of mutant and/or truncated proteins to study protein structure, function, and interactions, ribosome structure probing, translation fidelity and frameshifting assays, and systems biology to simultaneously examine all the key ribosome assembly players.
Our group is located near the geographic center of Canada, at Brandon University and we are part of the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM). Our location is ideal for ribosome assembly and ribosomopathy research as some ribosomopathies are uniquely found in specific groups in Canada, such as in the Hutterite population of the Canadian Prairies. Ribosome assembly is fundamental to all organisms and our increasing understanding of the molecular basis of cancer has identified ribosome dysregulation as a key component of all cancers and a target of many chemotherapeutic agents. We use a variety of molecular tools to study the molecular events that underlie ribosome assembly in normal situations and how it can go wrong in disease. For more information on ribosomopathies, read this great article and listen to this podcast (starting at 10:58) by Dr. Susan J. Baserga, M.D./Ph.D., one of the pioneers in the ribosome assembly and ribosomopathy field and Dr. Charette’s post-doc mentor at Yale Medical School.
Please read more about who we are and about the exciting research projects going on in the Charette Lab to discover our contributions to the exciting world of ribosome assembly and our growing understanding of what happens when ribosomes go bad!
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