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Rebecca Hurto


Postdoctoral Researcher in Molecular GeneticsThe Ohio State University, 2014
Ph. D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 2006
BA in Chemistry and Biology, Central College, 2000

Research Interests
My current research is focused on three separate projects where I am applying methods for transcription profiling and measurement of transcriptional regulatory states to better understand the molecular logic of how cells respond to stress. The goal of the first project is to determine how the transcriptional terminator, Rho, alters the cellular responses of E.coli to antibiotics at the DNA/transcriptional level. To accomplish this goal, I am utilizing IPOD, footprinting, and RNA-seq techniques. In a collaborative second project, the focus is to describe the c-di-GMP-dependent regulatory network impact on transcription in V. cholerae. The third project is a collaboration to take a comprehensive and synchronized approach to study the dimorphic transition of yeast from budding to pseudohyphal growth in response to butanol stress. As I work on these projects, I have been optimizing the original IPOD technique and modifying it to work with new organisms.

Research History

    2015 to Present:
        Postdoctoral ResearchFreddolino Lab, Biological Chemistry Department, University of Michigan

    2006 to 2014 
        Postdoctoral research, Ohio State University. 
        Overall focus: Regulation of tRNA distribution in response to stress

    2001 to 2006
        Doctoral thesis research,  College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania State University. 
        Research focus: the identification of novel tRNA nuclear exporters using yeast genetics and molecular biology techniques.

    2000 to 2001
        First year research rotations.

        Undergraduate chemistry research.
        Research focus: study of the harmala alkaloids from Syrian Rue plants that utilized various microscopic, spectrometric, and molecular modeling methods.


        Hurto RL and Hopper AK. De novo amino acid biosynthesis influences starvation-induced changes in tRNA distribution (in preparation)
        Hurto RL and Hopper AK. P-body components, Dhh1 and Pat1, are involved in tRNA nuclear-cytoplasmic dynamics. RNA. 2011 May;17(5):912-24 24 (journal highlighted article)
        Hurto R. Unexpected functions of tRNA and tRNA processing enzymes. In: RNA Infrastructure and Networks, Collins, L., ed. Austin/New York: Landes Bioscience/Springer, 2011 pp. 137-155 (peer-evaluated review)
        Whitney ML, Hurto RL, Shaheen HH, Hopper AK. Rapid and reversible nuclear accumulation of cytoplasmic tRNA in response to nutrient availability. Mol Biol Cell. 2007 Jul;18(7):2678-86.
        Hurto RL, Tong AH, Boone C, Hopper AK. Inorganic phosphate deprivation causes tRNA nuclear accumulation via retrograde transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics. 2007 Jun;176(2):841-52 (journal highlighted article and cover image)
        Gu W, Hurto RL, Hopper AK, Grayhack EJ, Phizicky EM. Depletion of Saccharomyces cerevisiae tRNA(His) guanylyltransferase Thg1p leads to uncharged tRNAHis with additional m(5)C. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Sep;25(18):8191-201.
        Stanford DR, Whitney ML, Hurto RL, Eisaman DM, Shen WC, Hopper AK. Division of labor among the yeast Sol proteins implicated in tRNA nuclear export and carbohydrate metabolism. Genetics. 2004 Sep;168(1):117-27.

Oral Presentations

        Hurto RL and Hopper AK. Connections between starvation, P-body formation, tRNA sub-cellular distribution. Oral, platform session. RNA 2009: Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the RNA Society
        Hurto RL and Hopper AK. Connections between starvation, translation, and tRNA movement. Oral presentation to The RNA Group (now The Center for RNA Biology) in 2008.
        Hurto RL and Hopper AK. Coordinate regulation of tRNA nucleus-cytosol distribution with P-body formation. Oral, platform session. 2008 Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting
        Hurto RL, Tong A, Boone C, Hopper AK. Novel connection between inorganic phosphate availability and tRNA nucleus-cytosol movement. Oral presentation. 2006 Rustbelt RNA meeting.
        Hurto RL, Tong A, Boone C, Hopper AK. The role of phosphate signaling in tRNA nuclear export. Oral, platform. RNA 2004 Ninth Annual Meeting of the RNA Society

Honors and awards

Best oral presentation at Rustbelt RNA Meeting

American Heart Association Pre-doctoral Fellowship
 2002 to 2004