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.