Understanding the chemical, structural, and molecular mechanisms that regulate RNA function in the cell.

Welcome to the Mugridge Lab at the University of Delaware. We are a new research lab in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry working at the interface of chemistry and RNA biology.


What do we do?

Our lab takes an interdisciplinary approach -- combining techniques and expertise from biochemistry, structural biology, biophysics, and chemistry & chemical biology -- to answer challenging questions about the regulation of RNA function and its links to human disease.

diverse techniques

How does the cell leverage chemical complexity on RNA to control gene expression?

Organisms across all domains of life decorate their RNA molecules with an incredible diversity of chemical modifications. Modifications on mRNA and tRNA are critical for their function, affecting RNA structure, stability, and translational properties. Many of the proteins and enzymes that read, write, and erase these modifications are closely tied to human diseases ranging from neurological disorders to cancer to type 2 diabetes. While these proteins and pathways could be targets to treat these diseases, we lack a high-resolution, mechanistic understanding of how the cell installs, recognizes, and leverages chemical modifications on RNA. Our lab is working to understand how protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions regulate chemical modifications on RNA to control gene expression and impact human disease.

How do we monitor diverse, dynamic changes to RNA in the cell?

The cellular transcriptome is constantly in flux. New RNA molecules are rapidly synthesized, modified, translated, and degraded to control protein expression and respond to changes in cell environment and stress. Directly monitoring these changes in RNA composition, stability, and localization remains extremely challenging. Our lab is developing new tools to detect, map, and visualize the dynamic life of RNA inside the cell.


Jeffrey Mugridge, PhD's picture

Jeffrey Mugridge, PhD

Principal Investigator,
Assistant Professor
Suma Katta, PhD's picture

Suma Katta, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Kasun Abeyrathne's picture

Kasun Abeyrathne

Graduate Student
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Luke Calzini's picture

Luke Calzini

Graduate Student
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Celeste DiGennaro's picture

Celeste DiGennaro

Graduate Student
joint with J. Bird Lab

CBI Program
Angel D'Oliviera's picture

Angel D’Oliviera

Graduate Student
CBI Program

Evan Geissler's picture

Evan Geissler

Graduate Student
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Youmna Moawad's picture

Youmna Moawad

Graduate Student
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Brittany Shimanski's picture

Brittany Shimanski

Graduate Student
CBI Program

Sophie Olson's picture

Sophie Olson

Undergraduate Student

Join our team!

We’re looking for curious, enthusiastic scientists with interests in biochemistry, structural biology, chemical biology, and biophysics. Students in our lab learn and use a broad range of techniques including protein expression and purification, enzymology, RNA biochemistry, cell culture, macromolecular X-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy, and other biophysical assays.

The Mugridge lab is actively recruiting at all levels! We have openings for graduate students in Chemistry & Biochemistry or other programs with interests at the interface of chemistry and biology, undergrads at UD interested in doing research during the academic year and over the Summer, and postdoctoral researchers with strong backgrounds in biochemistry or structural biology. Contact Jeff directly for more information.

Our values

The Mugridge lab is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive lab space where students and researchers of all backgrounds are welcomed and supported to grow and succeed as scientists. We will actively foster a dynamic, collaborative, and open lab environment where members feel free to ask challenging questions, do innovative science, and have fun doing it!


Recognition and cleavage of human tRNA methyltransferase TRMT1 by the SARS-CoV-2 main protease
D'Oliviera A, Dai X, Mottaghinia S, Geissler EP, Etienne L, Zhang Y, Mugridge JS*. eLife 2023

Selected Publications Prior to UD
Structural and molecular mechanisms for the control of eukaryotic 5'-3' mRNA decay
Mugridge JS, Coller J, Gross JD. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 2018
Structure of the activated Edc1-Dcp1-Dcp2-Edc3 mRNA decapping complex with substrate analog poised for catalysis
Mugridge JS, Tibble RW, Ziemniak M, Jemielity J, Gross JD. Nature Communications 2018
Application of a Schizosaccharomyces pombe Edc1-fused Dcp1-Dcp2 decapping enzyme for transcription start site mapping
Paquette DR, Mugridge JS, Weinberg DE, Gross JD. RNA 2018
Structural basis of mRNA-cap recognition by Dcp1-Dcp2. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
Mugridge JS, Ziemniak M, Jemielity J, Gross JD. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 2016
Two-headed tetraphosphate cap analogs are inhibitors of the Dcp1/2 RNA decapping complex
Ziemniak M, Mugridge JS, Kowalska J, Rhoads RE, Gross JD, Jemielity J. RNA 2016

For a complete list of publications see: PubMed | Google Scholar


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Mugridge Lab
University of Delaware
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
169 Brown Laboratory
Newark, DE 19711
(302) 831-3578

Copyright 2019 - Mugridge Lab - University of Delaware