The Friend Research Group

The Friend lab studies the connections between messenger RNA translation and cell fate decisions. Using mouse embryonic stem cells as a model, we are investigating how mRNA translation is regulated as stem cells differentiate into other cell types, mainly neurons. Our research has shown that key stem cell factors are regulated by mRNA translation and that we can drive the expression of Nanog and c-Myc (two of these factors) by regulating the phosphorylation of a translation initiation factor, eIF2alpha.