Dr. Aitken and I arrived at NIH in July and August, respectively. We have been working to set the lab up. Dr. Aitken has been ordering the necessary equipment and reagents and we have been dealing with administrative issues. The remainder of my group moved here from Johns Hopkins near the end of October. Our lab is located on the 2nd floor of Building 49. A lay description of my lab's work is given below: Lorsch Lab Studies Translation of Genetic Information into Proteins Proteins are the body's workhorses. They are necessary for virtually every activity, from muscle movement to brain function, digestion, and oxygen transport in the blood. The recipes for proteins are in our genes, and the translation of this genetic information into proteins is one of biology's most critical processes. But if translation is not properly controlled, cells can grow unchecked and form cancerous tumors. Translation is also a security vulnerability: Viruses infect our cells by hijacking the machinery responsible for translation, forcing it to assemble viral proteins instead of cellular ones. The Lorsch lab studies how translation begins. Each time the body needs a new protein molecule, the cell constructs an enormous molecular apparatus capable of reading a gene and churning out the corresponding protein in mere minutes. Researchers in the lab are investigating how this apparatus is assembled piece by piece. The lab is also leveraging this fundamental work to identify chemical compounds that might affect the translation process and serve as new drugs to treat cancer or viral infection. During a visit to the Lorsch lab, youll see firsthand how researchers recreate the translation machinery inside a test tube and how they dissect the molecular workings of an event central to life.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Zip Code