Welcome to the Rader Lab at UNBC

The mission of the Rader Lab is to perform world-class research into the evolution and 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.

In the Rader lab, we 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 Society
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic taught us many things, not least the importance of ribonucleic acid (RNA). The coronavirus that caused the outbreak is an RNA virus, so-called because its genome is made of RNA rather than the usual DNA. The first two vaccines approved for widespread use were RNA vaccines. The world is also on the cusp of an unprecendeted period of evolutionary change in which humans can alter genomes -- including our own -- at will using the CRISPR-Cas9 tool that is also based on RNA. In short, RNA is everywhere and it has never mattered more.
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 in humans by a complex assembly of five small, nuclear RNAs and more than 150 proteins. The Rader Lab uses the tools of genetics, biochemistry, and biophysics to study the mechanism by which introns are removed from pre-mRNA and how splicing systems have evolved over time.
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."