5 minutes with visiting PostDoc, Benedict Smail

Ben, where are you visiting from?
I am a postdoc at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, a branch of Harvard Medical School

What are your research interests?
My main interest and project is investigating the mechanism(s) of LINE-1 retrotransposition in vitro using purified proteins or LINE-1 ribonucleoprotein particles. I’m also interested in developing an RNA retrotransposition reporter and translation of LINE-1 proteins.

What do you hope to learn?
I came to the NCDIR to get experience working with LINE-1 RNPs and to learn how to purify proteins, since I was previously dependent on other collaborators. Mike Rout and John LaCava have a track record of working with my current PI in Boston and both have tremendous experience working with purified RNP particles. In particular, John and his research associate Hua have significant experience pulling down LINE-1 RNPs on beads that can be used for biochemical studies. In addition, Mike Rout’s lab has a state-of-the-art FPLC and excellent resources for protein expression and purification.