Paul Gollnick is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University at Buffalo. He studies transcription in bacteria and viruses. In B. subtilis transcription of the tryptophan operon is controlled by an attenuation mechanism. Transcription through a 5’ leader region is regulated by an RNA binding protein called TRAP. In excess tryptophan, TRAP binds to the leader RNA and induces termination. In limiting tryptophan TRAP doesn’t bind and the operon is transcribed. Vaccinia is a member of the pox virus family, which conduct their life cycle in the cytoplasm of infected cells and thus encode their own transcription machinery. Early genes are transcribed immediately upon infection. Termination of early gene transcription involves two viral proteins (NPHI and capping enzyme) in addition to a termination signal in the nascent RNA. Dr. Gollnick’s aim is to understand the function of each component in the termination mechanism.
More information at: http://biology.buffalo.edu/faculty/gollnick