Noah Helton

Mentor: Moon
Genetics and Genomics

Areas of Interest

Cells are tasked with the challenge of responding and adapting to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic stressors such as heat, viruses, unfolded proteins, and nutrient deprivation on a daily basis. The integrated stress response (ISR) is an evolutionarily conserved pathway that encompasses the recognition of these stressors by eIF2alpha kinases that subsequently suppress global translation. This suppression is coupled with the formation of RNA-protein condensates called stress granules, the upregulation of stress specific genes (e.g., ATF4 and GADD34), and the promotion of noncanonical modes of translation. Significant work has been done to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular reprogramming in response to stress, yet little is known about how cells recover from stress. For example, stress granule dissolution, reinitiation of canonical translation, and suppression of stress induced genes are not well characterized. My work takes advantage of live-cell single molecule microscopy, ribosome profiling, and classic molecular biology techniques to investigate how cells recover from stress.