The Zaher lab is interested in the functional role of RNA during the process of translation. Our long-term goal is to investigate the mechanism of ribosome function and to understand how other cellular factors and alterations to the RNA modulate its function. We are interested in understanding how this machine functions not only at the most basic level, but also how it reads cues to modulate its activity. It is clear that the ribosome is subject to multiple levels of regulation at each step that affect a very diverse range of biological processes such as development, differentiation and homeostasis. We employ high-resolution in-vitro approaches as well as complementary in-vivo approaches that include genomic and proteomic techniques. With these studies we are hoping to make significant contributions to one of the most basic and conserved mechanisms in biology; the translation of genetic information into functional peptides. Despite decades of research in translation, very basic questions regarding the fidelity of translation and the processing of damaged mRNAs by the ribosome are still lacking.