New CELL Faculty Member Profile – Ethan Greenblatt

Dr. Greenblatt is a recently appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology whose lab is located in the Life Sciences Institute at UBC.

Ethan performed his PhD studies with Ron Kopito’s at Stanford University, where he worked on the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. He identified a central role for rhomboid membrane pseudoproteases in the trafficking of misfolded secretory proteins to the cytoplasm en route to proteasomal destruction. He then joined Allan Spradling’s lab at the Carnegie Institution for Science for his postdoctoral fellowship, where he established a novel system for studying the biology of developmental arrest using arrested mature Drosophila oocytes. His work led to the identification of a key role for translation decline in the loss of oocyte function during aging or in the absence of disease-associated genes such as Fmr1, which is mutated in prominent reproductive and intellectual disorders. Using the oocyte system, Ethan identified the function of Fmr1 as a translational activator of large proteins essential for neurodevelopment.

The long-term goal of Greenblatt’s laboratory is to understand how translational regulators allow for oocytes simultaneously activate the translation of meiotic mRNAs while storing thousands of translationally repressed mRNAs that are needed for subsequent embryonic development. In addition, his laboratory is working on elucidating the cause of translational decline during oocyte aging and determining the impact of this decline on reproductive lifespan.

Click here to find out more about Dr. Greenblatt’s lab.

Welcome Dr. Greenblatt!