About Sichen Shao's Work
My research group studies how cells surveil protein biosynthesis to regulate gene expression and maintain a high-quality proteome. We biochemically rebuild cellular quality control pathways to dissect the mechanisms that detect and respond to problems during protein synthesis by ribosomes. We combine these experimental systems with functional and structural approaches to accomplish two goals. First, we are developing methodologies to identify specific aberrant ribosomal complexes in large heterogeneous populations of functional counterparts. Second, we investigate how cells dismantle protein synthesis machinery and check the integrity of individual translational components during physiological and pathological processes. Our work generates molecular-level understanding of translational quality control mechanisms essential for cellular survival, proliferation, and differentiation.