Richard A. Lease, Ph.D.

  • Research Scientist and Principal Investigator
  • Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • The Ohio State University
  • Columbus, Ohio  USA


Primary field of research​: Regulatory RNA structure, function, and application

The Lease Laboratory studies basic structure-function relationships and applications of bacterial small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) in dynamic gene expression control. The sRNAs can antagonize translation by binding to mRNA translational regulatory sequences.

​Lease Lab created an E. coli genetic system based on DsrA sRNA to test and retarget these sRNAs to different mRNAs, and succeeded in using it to generate semisynthetic re-targeted sRNAs that simultaneously regulate multiple mRNAs using modular stem-loop antisense regulatory motifs.

Synthetic biology applications of this work include the generation of gene knock-downs in industrially relevant but genetically less–tractable microbes such as Clostridium acetobutylicum, and the fine-tuning of gene expression in fermentation cultures.

​Lease Lab's work on stem-loop antisense motifs led to testing their general function in sRNA:mRNA interactions and to consider their potential application for building self-assembling RNA nanostructures.