George E. Fox

University of Houston

Ph.D. -1974 Syracuse University; Chemical Engineering
B.S. - 1967 Syracuse University; Chemical Engineering

Research Interests: 

A unifying theme behind the basic research projects in our laboratory is to understand the early evolution of life. To this end we are especially interested in the structure, function and evolution of RNA. Considerable evidence suggests that an RNA World preceded the modern protein world. It is our belief that this RNA World was terminated by the development of an RNA catalyzed mechanism for peptide synthesis. It is presumably this mechanism that was the basis for the modern ribosome. Comparative genomics studies done by others and us suggest that an essentially modern ribosome already existed by the time the current earliest detectable common ancestor of all extant life had developed. Thus, the ribosome presumably developed during the final transition from the prebiotic RNA World to true organisms. By deciphering the origins of the ribosome we can obtain a window into that earliest period in lifeís history.