Welcome to the Rader Lab at UNBC

The mission of the Rader Lab is to perform world-class research into the mechanism of pre-messenger RNA splicing through teamwork, intellectual rigor, and creativity.

We provide a stimulating and supportive environment for training scientists at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels, where integrity and respect for one another stand equally with mental discipline and hard work.

We at the Rader lab recognize that people are our greatest asset, and that the critical thinking skills they acquire here will prepare them for careers in the most demanding fields.

RNA and Evolution
Genetic information is encoded in DNA, the molecule of heredity. This information contains instructions for making proteins, the molecules responsible for carrying out most structural and enzymatic functions in cells. Neither proteins nor DNA can exist or be perpetuated without the other, which raises the evolutionary paradox of how they arose. A possible answer to this conundrum was revealed with the discovery of catalytic RNA, a molecule that can be inherited like DNA, yet which can possess enzymatic functions like those of proteins. Support for this "RNA world" hypothesis, that RNA was the first biological molecule, comes from the observation that many essential cellular functions, most notably protein synthesis, are carried out by RNA machines.
Pre-mRNA Splicing
The instructions for making individual proteins are copied from DNA into RNA. The RNA message is then translated into proteins by the ribosome. Prior to protein translation, however, extraneous sequences, known as introns, must be removed from the RNA in a process known as pre-messenger RNA splicing (see figure at right). This process is catalyzed by a complex assembly of five small, nuclear RNAs and more than 100 proteins. The Rader Lab uses the tools of yeast genetics, biochemistry, and biophysics to study the mechanism by which introns are removed from pre-mRNA.
UNBC Media Releases about the Rader Lab
Click here to see media stories featuring the Rader Lab from 2015, 2011a, 2011b, 2009, 2007, 2006, and 2005.

Professor Stephen Rader

Professor Stephen Rader
"An excellent undergraduate biochemistry program, strength in RNA biochemistry and structural biology, and a small, personal university where faculty know students by name:  these are a few of the many advantages of UNBC.  And let's not forget the amazing outdoor opportunities of British Columbia."