Tim Lenz

Georgia Institute of Technology, IBB

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 2016 B.A.&Sc., Honours Biochemistry, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 2007

Research Interests: 

My research involves interrogation of large RNA structures (600-3,000 nucleotides) under plausible early earth conditions, including studying the effects of Fe(II) and other cations on the structure of ribosomal RNA. These structure-probing experiments are carried out in an anoxic chamber, simulating the reducing anoxic atmosphere at the time of life’s origins. Previously, I have discovered that our model ancestral ribosomal RNA forms the expected secondary structure, despite excision of ~80% of extant large subunit ribosomal RNA.

Selected publications: 

Hsiao, C, Lenz, TK, Peters, JK, Fang, PY, Schneider, DM, Anderson, EJ, Preeprem, T, Bowman, JC, O'Neill, EB, Lie, L, Athavale, SS, Gossett, JJ, Trippe, C, Murray, J, Petrov, AS, Wartell, RM, Harvey, SC, Hud, NV, and Williams, LD (2013) "Molecular Paleontology: A Biochemical Model of the Ancestral Ribosome", Nucleic Acids Res. 41, 3373-3385. Bowman, JC, Azizi, B, Lenz, TK, Roy, P, and Williams, LD. (2012) Preparation of Long Templates for RNA in Vitro Transcription by Recursive PCR, in Recombinant and in Vitro RNA Synthesis: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology (Conn, G. L., Ed.), pp 19-41, Springer Science, LLC. Bowman, JC, Lenz, TK, Hud, NV, and Williams, LD (2012) "Cations in Charge: Magnesium Ions in RNA Folding and Catalysis ", Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 22, 262-272 [review].