Melissa Moore, HHMI Investigator joins BMP Faculty

Date Posted: 04/03/09

Melissa J. MooreHoward Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (HHMI) Melissa J. Moore, PhD, has been appointed Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology with tenure at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). Dr. Moore joins the Medical School from Brandeis University where she was professor of Biochemistry.

“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Moore to the Medical School. She is a very accomplished member of a class of young investigators who have already had a substantial impact on biomedical research,” said C. Robert Matthews, PhD, the Arthur F. and Helen P. Koskinas Professor and chair of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology. “As an emerging leader in biomedical research, we are looking for people who ask big questions and take risks—Dr. Moore is certainly one of those scientists. She has that special talent and perseverance that will no doubt lead to major scientific breakthroughs and medical advances.” 

“I'm very excited about joining the UMass Medical School faculty. The UMass community is remarkably collaborative and cooperative, and I look forward to being part of that environment. It’s not something you necessarily find in other schools,” said Moore. “Moreover, UMass Medical School is one of the best places in the world for RNA research. I’m eager to collaborate with my new colleagues; collaborations that I hope will both broaden the impact of my work and bring my research closer to the clinic.”

The Moore lab is interested in pre-mRNA splicing and its connections to intracellular mRNA localization, translation, and degradation. Pre-mRNA splicing is the process by which incoherent sequences called introns are removed from newly made RNA transcripts (precursors to messenger RNAs or pre-mRNAs) before the resultant mRNAs can be used as blueprints to make proteins. Moore describes herself as a broad-ranging problem-oriented scientist who can't resist sticking her fingers in many pots. Research currently underway in the lab ranges from watching individual pre-mRNA molecules splice one at a time via high-resolution fluorescence microscopy, to investigating how yeast cells rid themselves of old and dysfunctional RNAs, to elucidating the mechanisms by which mammalian neurons control protein expression at synapses using mRNAs that self-destruct once they've been used to make a protein. Her research is currently funded by the HHMI and the National Institutes of Health. To find out more about Dr. Moore’s research, click here.