Nicholas Proudfoot is a renowned molecular biologist who has made significant contributions to the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) processing in eukaryotes. mRNA is a small and mobile single-stranded chain of nucleic acid used by cells to copy the DNA sequence of a particular protein into an intermediate that enables the final protein to be constructed.
In his early career, Nicholas discovered the genetic signals that dictate the tail of the mRNA and so mark the end of the gene sequence being copied. His more recent work showed that the initial RNA copy of a gene is extensively modified as it is made, so that gene transcription is precisely coordinated with mRNA production.
Nicholas’s work has been crucial in advancing our current understanding of mRNA. He is Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Oxford and his research group studies a wide range of basic biological mechanisms associated with successful gene expression.