Biological Sciences, Lehigh University Lehigh University home page Department of Biological Sciences home page
Faculty, Biological Sciences, Lehigh University

Vassie Ware, Ph.D.
HHMI Bioscience program
Distance Education program

Research Interest:
Molecular Biology

Iacocca Hall
111 Research Drive, B222
Bethlehem, PA 18015


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The Ware lab studies components of one of the most abundant and complex machines in all cells – the ribosome.

Vassie Ware, Ph.D.This complex of several ribosomal RNAs and multiple ribosomal proteins is the macromolecular “stage” on which all proteins are synthesized in cells in a process called translation.  As an essential complex in all cells, the ribosome varies in composition and structure between different organisms, prompting questions of how those structural differences may affect translation or the regulation of translation in different types of cells. 

Using biochemical, cellular, genetic, and molecular approaches, the Ware lab is studying differences in ribosome composition and biogenesis at the RNA and protein levels in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.  We are interested in a species-specific ribosomal RNA processing event called “gap processing”, its unexplored role in the ribosomal cycle, and the biochemical machinery (including the role of ribosomal protein RpL23a) that regulates processing. 

Additionally, we are studying the function of the RpL22e ribosomal protein family where duplicate genes (called paralogues) are present.  With two genetic loci encoding the same essential protein, differences in protein structure and function may have evolved over time, allowing for the development of new or refined functions for ribosomal protein paralogues. 

We are studying the expression of RpL22e paralogues in different tissues (particularly in the fly testis and brain) to determine if protein functions are redundant or if novel ribosomal protein functions have evolved over time.

Vassie Ware, Ph.D.
RpL22e paralogue expression in the fly testis

Coming soon!

Instructional Video: Sucrose Gradient Fractionation


Click here to read about how Dr. Ware mentored a former undergraduate student and helped shape that student's career path.

Biological Sciences
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone: 610-758-3680
Fax: 610-758-4004