This course will focus on understanding one of life's original, and still greatest, feats: namely, how cells make proteins. Since early life forms evolved ribosomes several billion years ago, their synthesis, regulation, function, and evolution have been at the core of all aspects of biology.
This act of protein translation is remarkable, not only for its efficiency and fidelity, but also for the sheer complexity of the reaction, including the wide variety of molecules (e.g., mRNAs, tRNAs, rRNAs, proteins, amino acids) that need to be harnessed for its execution. In this course, we will investigate the biosynthetic pathways that are involved in effecting protein synthesis from various approaches. Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems will be considered, including the questions of how ribosome biosynthesis and activity is relevant to genetic diseases, cancer, cell growth, and antibiotic activity.