Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Christopher P. Lapointe, PhD

Dr. Lapointe examines how the synthesis of proteins (translation) is controlled, as dysregulated translation is a ubiquitous feature of cancer. He is focused on a key challenge: how regulation that originates at the end of a messenger RNA (mRNA, a genetic molecule that encodes a protein) impacts the start of translation, which occurs near the beginning of the mRNA. His goal is to reveal and analyze dynamic pathways that underlie this fundamental mechanism to control gene expression. Using an integrated approach of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, structural, and biochemical strategies, this research should yield generalizable insights into how translation is precisely regulated and how it is disrupted in a wide array of cancers.

Project title: “Fundamental mechanisms that underlie human translation initiation and its dysregulation in cancer”
Institution: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Award Program: Dale Frey Scientist
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Biophysics