Fred LaRiviere Associate Dean of the College, Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Fred LaRiviere

Simpson House
Curriculum Vitae

Associate Dean LaRiviere received his B.A. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Clark University, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado, and completed postdoctoral work at Brandeis University and Colby College. He came to W&L in 2006 and has taught general chemistry, biochemistry I and II, and a spring term forensic science course. His research lab studies mechanisms of ribosome quality control and translation.

As Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, he focuses on supporting students for academic success, collaborating when appropriate with the Office of Student Affairs. He also oversees curricular matters and serves as the Vice Chair of the Committee on Courses and Degrees. He directs faculty development programs including the mentoring cohort for new faculty, summer research collaborative grants, manuscript completion grant program, teacher-scholar cohorts and mini-grants. Associate Dean LaRiviere collaborates with Dean Hill on a range of strategic priorities.


  • 2005-2006 Dreyfus Teaching and Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Colby College
    • with Professor Julie T. Millard
  • 2001-2005 Damon Runyon Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Brandeis University
    • with Professor Melissa J. Moore, HHMI
  • 2001 Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Colorado
    • Thesis Advisor: Professor Olke C. Uhlenbeck
    • Thesis Title: tRNA conformity by elongation factor Tu
  • 1994 B.A., Chemistry and Biochemistry, Clark University



The LaRiviere group is interested in fundamental aspects of ribosome metabolism in eukaryotes. Specifically, we are investigating ribosome assembly and turnover in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. One focus of the lab is to elucidate the mechanistic details of non-functional ribosomal RNA decay (NRD), a newly discovered ribosome quality control pathway in yeast. NRD detects and degrades defective rRNAs after assembly into ribosomal subunits and mature ribosomes. A second focus of the lab is to study the molecular interactions involved in the association of the large and small ribosomal subunits during ribosome biogenesis and translation. We use a combination of biochemical and molecular tools to study these biologically important, yet contrasting processes of ribosome assembly and destruction.

Research Students Supervised:

39 at W&L -- Matthew Smith, Andrew Ackell*, Lucas Carmalt, Carly Levin*, Michael McArdle, Kehvon Clark*, Sarah Connor*, Bridget Donovan*, Victoria Garcia, Caitlin Edgar, Kelli Jarrell, Diane Lee*, Katie Driest*, Emily Kunkel, Jessie Ykimoff, Kelsey Baker, Andrew Renaldo, Derek Barisas*, Darlon Jan*, John Lankalis, Hunter Brooks, Grace Lee, Chris Hu, Karen Villarroel, David Zekan*, Liam Gaziano, Susan Ma, Victor Yu*, Ethiopia Getachew, Jenna Kim, Kalady Osowski, Lauren Pupa, George Barker, Ethan Hartman, Austin Smith, Tori Hester, Matt Holloway, Ben Peeples, Andrew Crean (* denotes thesis student)


  • Biol 160/Chem 160 - CSI: W&L
  • Chem 110 - General Chemistry
  • Chem 175 - Teaching Inquiry Science in the Local Schools
  • Chem 295 - Ribosome Biogenesis and Ribosomal RNA Quality Control
  • Chem 298 - Mechanisms of Cancer
  • Chem 341 - Biochemistry I
  • Chem 342 - Biochemistry II
  • Chem 343 - Biochemistry I Laboratory
  • Chem 344 - Biochemistry II Laboratory
  • Chem 345 - Advanced Biochemistry
  • Writ 100 - Science of Sherlock

Selected Publications

  • Alty, LT and LaRiviere FJ. (2016) Peptide Mass Fingerprinting of Egg White Proteins. Journal of Chemical Education 93:772-777.
  • Cole SE, LaRiviere FJ, Merrikh, CN, and Moore MJ. (2009) A convergence of rRNA and mRNA quality control pathways revealed by mechanistic analysis of nonfunctional rRNA decay. Molecular Cell 34:440-450.
  • LaRiviere FJ, Newman AG*, Watts ML*, Bradley SQ*, Juskewitch JE*, Greenwood PG, and Millard JT. (2009) Quantitative PCR analysis of diepoxybutane and epihalohydrin damage to nuclear versus mitochondrial DNA. Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 664:48-54.
  • Carson TM*, Bradley SQ*, Fekete BL, Millard JT, and LaRiviere FJ. (2009) Forensic analysis of canine DNA samples in the undergraduate biochemistry laboratory. Journal of Chemical Education 86:376-378.
  • Cole SE and LaRiviere FJ. (2008) Analysis of nonfunctional rRNA decay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Methods in Enzymology 449:239-259.
  • LaRiviere FJ, Miller LM, and Millard JT. (2007) Showing the true face of chemistry in a service-learning outreach course. Journal of Chemical Education 84:1636-1639.
  • LaRiviere FJ, Cole SE, Ferullo DJ, and Moore MJ. (2006) A late-acting quality control process for mature eukaryotic rRNAs. Molecular Cell 24:619-626.
  • LaRiviere FJ, Wolfson AD, and Uhlenbeck OC. "Uniform Binding of Aminoacyl tRNAs to Elongation Factor Tu by Thermodynamic Compensation" Science, 2001, 294:165-168.
  • Wolfson AD, LaRiviere FJ, Pleiss JA, Dale T, Asahara H, and Uhlenbeck OC. "tRNA Conformity" Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology, 2001, 66:185-193.
  • Sherlin LD, Bullock TL, Nissan TA, Perona JJ, LaRiviere FJ, Uhlenbeck OC and Scaringe SA. "Chemical and Enzymatic Synthesis of tRNAs for High-Throughput Crystallization" RNA, 2001, 7:1671-1678
  • Long DM, LaRiviere FJ, and Uhlenbeck OC. "Divalent Metal Ions and the Internal Equilibrium of the Hammerhead Ribozyme" Biochemistry, 1995, 34:14435-14440.

Awards and Professional Organizations


  • 2006 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-up Award
  • 2004 Nucleic Acids Gordon Conference Promoted Speaker Award
  • 2002-2005 Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1994 American Institute of Chemists Student Achievement Award in Biochemistry
  • 1993 M. Margaret Comer Award for Undergraduate Research in the Biological Sciences

 Professional Organizations

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Virginia Academy of Science


  • National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Grant; "Acquisition of a Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope for Enhancing Undergraduate Research and Training across the Sciences at Washington & Lee University and Virginia Military Institute" [Fiona L. Watson (PI), Jonathan C. Erickson (co-PI), Frederick J. LaRiviere (co-PI), Robert E. Stewart (co-PI), and James E. Turner (co-PI)], Awarded August, 2011. $365,736
  • Jeffress Memorial Trust Research Grant renewal; "Investigating non-functional ribosomal RNA decay and ribosomal assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae," Awarded January, 2011. $10,000
  • J. Edwin Treakle Foundation; "Additional equipment for biochemistry laboratory," Awarded June, 2010, $1,000
  • Jeffress Memorial Trust Research Grant renewal; "Investigating non-functional ribosomal RNA decay and ribosomal assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae," Awarded January, 2009. $10,000
  • Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges; "New equipment for biochemistry laboratory," Awarded July, 2007, $6,667
  • J. Edwin Treakle Foundation; "Equipment for biochemistry laboratory," Awarded June, 2007, $2,000
  • Jeffress Memorial Trust Research Grant; "Investigating non-functional ribosomal RNA decay and ribosomal assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae," Awarded January, 2007, $22,000
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-up Award; "Investigation of the mechanisms of ribosome synthesis and ribosomal RNA degradation," Awarded July, 2006, $30,000
  • J. Edwin Treakle Foundation; "Equipment to build a new biochemistry laboratory," Awarded June, 2006, $2,000 (with Lisa T. Alty)