The Tran Lab
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Elizabeth Tran earned her PhD in biochemistry at North Carolina State University where she developed an in vitro assembly and methylation system for trans acting box C/D snoRNAs. She then pursued postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Susan Wente at Vanderbilt University, where she identified the role of the RNA helicase Dbp5 in nuclear mRNA export. Shejoined thefaculty at Purdue University in 2009, where she explores the biochemical mechanism and biologicalfunction of DEAD-box RNA helicases, a class of enzymes that are required for all aspects of RNA metabolism but whose in vivo roles are yet to be identified. Her laboratory is most well known for studies of the DEAD-box RNA helicase Dbp2 in S. cerevisiae and insights into the roles of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in gene expression (Fig. 1). These insights span the fields of RNA biology, epigenetics, and metabolism. Moreover, the scientific community has highlighted her work for pivotal, paradigm shifting advances in lncRNA biology (Best of JBC 2012, Nature highlight, Science Signalinghighlight). Her long-term goal is to understand the connection between RNA structure, gene regulation, and cellular adaptation in relationship to organismal survival and human pathology. In addition to research, Dr. Tran is a strong supporter of the international scientific community and mentoring the next generation of scientists. She is currently serving a two year term as a Director on the Board of the RNA Society, an international organization with ~1000 members worldwide.