Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Albert Tsai, PhD

Dr. Tsai is studying a process called translation, by which messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are decoded into proteins. A hallmark of cancer cells is distorted patterns of protein production, leading to uncontrolled growth and invasive behavior. He is using novel microscope technology to image live cells in real-time and developing techniques to image individual protein molecules during their synthesis, thereby linking the time, location and amount of protein production to individual mRNAs. He will first examine these processes in bone cancer-derived cell lines. He will also examine how neurons control translation of structural proteins in the precise location where the neuron is stimulated, which underlies memory formation and learning. Ultimately, this work will contribute toward a precise and predictive model for translational control that explains how cancer cells circumvent control mechanisms.

Project title: "Single-molecule imaging of transcription factors binding dynamics in Drosophila embryos"
Institution: HHMI Janelia Research Campus
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Robert H. Singer, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Biophysics