Jeffrey A. Chao

Group News

Dec 16, 2019
A new druggable step in the gene expression pathway
Jan 28, 2019
How do mRNAs deal with stress?
Nov 2, 2017
Meet the Author: Ivana Horvathova and Franka Voigt
Oct 31, 2017
An RNA TREAT for Halloween
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Jeffrey A. Chao

Regulation of gene expression

Gene expression requires an orchestrated series of events that is regulated temporally and spatially within the cell. After transcription, an mRNA must be spliced, processed, exported, transported and translated before it is eventually degraded. At each step, the factors that control the fate of the mRNA in either the nucleus or cytoplasm must be appropriately assembled, disassembled or remodeled. Not only is the composition of these macromolecular complexes dynamic, but there are also over 2000 proteins in the human genome involved in RNA metabolism, which makes them extremely heterogeneous as well. In order to better understand the molecular underpinnings that regulate these processes and how these complexes function within their cellular context, our research combines biochemical and structural (X-ray crystallography) techniques with single-molecule imaging of mRNAs in living cells.

Jeffrey A. Chao

This is a list of selected publications from this group. For a full list of publications, please visit our Publications page and search by group name.

Voigt, F.*, Gerbracht, J.V.*, Böhm, V., Horvathova, I., Eglinger, J., Chao, J.A.#, Gehring, N.H.# (2019) Detection and quantification of RNA decay intermediates using XRN1-resistant reporter transcripts

Nat Protocols. 14(5):1603-1633
# Co-corresponding authors. * joint first author

Wilbertz, J.H., Voigt, F. Horvathova, I., Roth, G. Zhan, Y., Chao, J.A. (2019) Single-molecule imaging of mRNA localization and regulation during the integrated stress response

Mol Cell. 73(5): 946-985

Jia, M., Gut, H., Chao, J.A. (2018) Structural basis of IMP3 RRM12 recognition of RNA

RNA. 24(12):1659-1666

Voigt, F.*, Zhang H.*, Cui, X.A., Triebold, D., Liu, A.X., Eglinger, J., Lee, E.S., Chao, J.A.*#, Palazzo, A.F.* (2017) Single-molecule quantification of translation-dependent association of mRNAs with the endoplasmic reticulum

Cell Reports. 21(13):3740-3753
# Lead contact. * joint first author

Horvathova I*, Voigt F*, Kotrys AV, Zhan Y, Artus-Revel CG, Eglinger J, Stadler MB, Giorgetti L, Chao JA (2017) The dynamics of mRNA turnover revealed by single-molecule imaging in single cells

Mol Cell 68:615-625
* joint first author

Halstead JM, Lionnet T, Wilbertz JH, Wippich F, Ephrussi A, Singer RH, Chao JA (2015) An RNA biosensor for imaging the first round of translation from single cells to living animals

Science 347:1367-1370

Full list of publications
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Group leader

PhD students

Postdoctoral fellows

Technical/Research associates



PhD students

Min Jia (2014-2019)
Johannes Wilbertz (2013-2018)
Ivana Horvathova (2013-2018)

Postdoctoral fellows

Min Jia (2019)
James Halstead (2014-2016)


Bastian Eichenberger (2018-2020)
Desiree Triebold (2017-2018)
Julia Noerpel (2018)
Jahnavi Bhaskaran (2017)
Desiree Triebold (2016)
Mathilde Bedin (2016)
Anna Victoria Kotrys (2015)
Mathilde Bedin (2014)
Mathilde Bedin (2013)

Visiting scientists

Yoko Ogura (2019)
Denisa Jansova (2018)
Min Jia (2013-2014)


PhD, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA
BA, Pomona College, Claremont, CA, USA

Positions held

Senior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel
Junior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel
Research Fellow, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA


EMBO Young Investigator Award
Dennis Shields Postdoctoral Research Prize
NIH NRSA Fellowship
Skaggs Pre-doctoral Fellowship
ARCS Scholar Fellowship