Soretta and Henry Shapiro Research Professor of Molecular Biosciences; Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Member of Center for Genetic Medicine; Member, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Dr. Sontheimer received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Yale University where he worked with Joan Steitz on the roles of the U5 and U6 small nuclear RNAs in pre-mRNA splicing. He did his postdoctoral work with Joseph Piccirilli at the University of Chicago on catalytic mechanisms of pre-mRNA splicing and group II intron self-splicing, and joined the faculty at Northwestern in 1999.
The Sontheimer laboratory focuses on the roles of RNA molecules in gene expression, with an emphasis on genetic interference pathways. Using biochemical approaches to characterize the function of the RNAi machinery, Dr. Sontheimer's research has yielded fundamental insights into the biochemical mechanism of RNAi and the pathway by which the RNAi machinery assembles on a double-stranded RNA. His research has recently expanded into a distinct interference pathway specified by CRISPR loci that limits the spread of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria.
Office: Cook 3137
erik [at] northwestern [dot] edu