Jamie Cate

Jamie Cate

Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology, Berkeley


Jamie Cate is a Professor in Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He also is a Faculty Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in the Division of Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at UCSF. Cate received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Denver (1990), a M.S. degree in Chemistry & Biochemistry from the University of Colorado (1994), and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University (1997). He was named a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Santa Cruz (1998-1999). He was an Associate Member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Assistant Professor of Biology, MIT (1999-2001), before moving to the University of California, Berkeley in 2001.

Research Interests

All roads lead to the ribosome: Protein synthesis is the universal mechanism for translating the genetic code into cellular function. The machine that carries out translation is the ribosome, a large RNA-protein complex whose structure is highly conserved in all kingdoms of life. We are exploring how ribosomes, which are over 21 nm in diameter, carry out the molecular events in protein synthesis using a combination of structural biology, primarily cryo-electron microscopy, systems and synthetic biology. We are exploring protein synthesis in bacteria that span the spectrum of microbial diversity, from organisms at the lower limit of the size for life, to bacteria that are central models for understanding translation. We are also exploring how translation is regulated in humans, and how yeast can be engineered to produce renewable chemicals.

Distinctions and Awards

Since beginning his independent career, Cate was named a Searle Scholar (2000) and received the 2001 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize for his work on structures of the ribosome. He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (2006) and won the Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award (2008) from the Protein Society. He has served as co-Chair of the Nucleic Acids Gordon Research Conference (2008) and the Ribosomes 2013 Conference. In 2017, he was named a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Recent Publications

  • Hamadani KM†, Howe J, Jensen MK, Wu P, Cate JHD†, Marqusee S† (2017) An in-vitro tag-and-modify protein sample generation method for singlemolecule FRET. J Biol Chem. 292(38):15636-15648,PMID: 28754692. PMCID: PMC5612098 [†Corresponding authors.]

  • Lintner NG, McClure KF, Petersen D, Londregan AT, Piotrowski DW, Wei L, Xiao J, Bolt M, Loria PM, Maguire B, Geoghegan KF, Huang A, Rolph T, Liras S, Doudna JA, Dullea RG†, Cate JHD† (2017) Selective stalling of human translation through small molecule engagement of the ribosome nascent chain. PLoS Biol., 15:e2001882. [†Corresponding authors.], PMID: 28323820. PMCID: PMC5360235.

  • Han BG, Watson ZL, Cate JHD, Glaeser RM (2017) Monolayer-crystal streptavidin support films provide an internal standard of cryo-EM image quality. J Struct Biol, in press. PMID: 28259651.

  • Samelson AJ, Jensen MK, Soto RA, Cate JH, Marqusee S. (2016) Quantitative determination of ribosome nascent chain stability. Proc Natl Acad Sci-USA. 113,13402-13407, PMID: 27821780. PMCID: PMC5127326.

  • Han BG, Watson Z, Kang H, Pulk A, Downing KH, Cate J, Glaeser RM. (2016) Long shelf-life streptavidin support-films suitable for electron microscopy of biological macromolecules. J Struct Biol. 195,238-44. PMID: 27320699.

  • Noeske J, Wasserman MR, Terry DS, Altman RB, Blanchard SC, Cate JH. (2015) High-resolution structure of the Escherichia coli ribosome. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 22, 336-341 PMID: 25775265.

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