Skip navigation
The Australian National University

Dr Nikolay Shirokikh

Ph.D. in Biology, Higher Attestation Commission, Moscow, Russia (2011)
Researcher
ANU College of Health and Medicine

Areas of expertise

  • Analytical Biochemistry 060101
  • Cell Development, Proliferation And Death 060103
  • Structural Biology (Incl. Macromolecular Modelling) 060112
  • Gene Expression (Incl. Microarray And Other Genome Wide Approaches) 060405

Research interests

Dr Nikolay Shirokikh is a biochemist and molecular biologist interested in mechanisms underlying the decoding of genetic information. Instructions on how, when and where to make proteins to fulfil the ever-changing requirements of the living cells are encoded in the ribonucleic acid messages (messenger(m)RNA). Translation of mRNA into protein is central to all life. Mechanisms regulating translation are important for cell survival and wellbeing.

In eukaryotic cells, where production of each type or variant of protein can be individually regulated, translational control is especially complex. Control of protein synthesis is directly involved in the processes critical for multicellular eukaryotes, such as cell differentiation, synaptic plasticity, adaptation and pro- and counter-survival decision making of the somatic and germline cells. Malignant cells utilise alternative translation pathways to survive and escape treatment through drug resistance.

The primary interest of Dr Shirokikh is to obtain deep knowledge of eukaryotic translation that will allow to decipher, and eventually manipulate, the mRNA regulatory elements responsible for mRNA-wise regulation of protein synthesis. Dr Shirokikh has a particular interest and expertise in mammalian translation, but also works with yeast when accessibility of genetics is necessary. He uses a variety of molecular biology, biophysics, biochemistry and genetics approaches applied to synthetic systems that model in vivo molecular interactions, and also works directly with live cells. He is currently using high-throughput RNA sequencing methods to obtain the new knowledge of how different eukaryotic mRNAs can control their translation.

Biography

From 1997-2003 Nikolay Shirokikh studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia). In 2004, he worked on the mechanisms defining start codon selection fidelity during his postgraduate internship in the laboratory of Profs Pestova and Hellen (State University of New York, Brooklyn, NY, USA). In 2011, he completed his PhD in the laboratory of Prof Spirin (Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia), where he investigated unusual properties of viral mRNA leaders that define their ability to ‘hijack’ ribosomes and overtake the host protein synthesis. In 2013, he was awarded Go8 European Fellowship (The Group of Eight Universities, Australia) to collaborate with the RNA Biology Laboratory headed by Prof Preiss for an innovative project on the mechanisms of eukaryotic translation initiation. From 2015, he works in the Preiss group where he primarily uses high-throughput sequencing methods to explore functions of eukaryotic RNA in live cells.

From 1997-2003 Nikolay Shirokikh studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia). In 2004, he worked on the mechanisms defining start codon selection fidelity during his postgraduate internship in the laboratory of Profs Pestova and Hellen (State University of New York, Brooklyn, NY, USA). In 2011, he completed his PhD in the laboratory of Prof Spirin (Institute of Protein research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia), where he investigated unusual properties of viral mRNA leaders that define their ability to ‘hijack’ ribosomes and overtake host protein synthesis. In 2013, he was awarded Go8 European Fellowship (The Group of Eight Universities, Australia) to collaborate with the RNA Biology Laboratory headed by Prof Preiss for innovative project on eukaryotic translation initiation. From 2015, he works in the Preiss group where he primarily uses high-throughput sequencing methods to explore functions of eukaryotic RNA in live cells.

Return to top

Updated:  17 October 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers