Alice Barkan

University of Oregon
Biological Sciences
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology

Alice Barkan is Professor of Biology and Member of the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon. Barkan is internationally recognized for fundamental discoveries about plant organelle RNA splicing and editing with potential medical and agricultural applications. Her foundational research demonstrated that posttranscriptional RNA splicing can regulate plastid gene expression, nuclear genes affect chloroplast group II intron splicing, and nuclear genes can regulate chloroplast translation. She identified a maize pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein, conserved in plants, fungi, and animals and showed that maize PPR protein RNA binding regulates transplicing in chloroplasts. Her pioneering analyses of RNA binding sites revealed a combinatorial code for RNA recognition that can be used to engineer PPR proteins to manipulate organeller functions.

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