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Boswell, Robert E

Professor and Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Boswell’s research focuses on the role of the exon junction complex (EJC), a group of proteins that bind pre-mRNA in a splicing-dependent manner ~20-24 nucleotides upstream of splice junctions, in establishing and maintaining cell fates. In addition to its roles in nuclear export of RNA and translational regulation, Boswell showed that the EJC plays a key role in RNA localization in the fly Drosophila melanogaster, a process critical for germline stem cell differentiation, oocyte determination, axis formation and germ plasm assembly (a cytoplasmic region essential for primordial germ cell formation; cells producing egg and sperm). Employing shotgun proteomics, Boswell identified over 50 proteins that co-immunoprecipitate with the EJC in extracts of ovarian tissues. Genetic analyses establish the physiological significance of the protein interactions with the EJC and identify proteins that interact with the complex to regulate specific oogenic processes.


  • developmental genetics, germline stem cell differentiation, drosophila oogenesis, pattern formation


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