Dr. Cate has had a longstanding interest in understanding how the ribosome translates the genetic code into proteins. A major focus in his lab is the study of human translation, focusing on the role of human translation initiation factor eIF3 and on ribosome stalling mechanisms. Using biochemical and structural biology, his lab has revealed fundamental mechanisms of human translation initiation, including the discovery of a 5’-m7G mRNA cap-binding activity in human eIF3 and eIF3-mediated regulation of specific mRNAs. In collaboration with Pfizer, his lab also revealed a new molecular mechanism of action for small molecules that can selectively stall protein synthesis on the ribosome. Dr. Cate received his Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University. After a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he joined the faculty of MIT as an Associate Member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He is now Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research has been recognized with a Searle Scholar Award, AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, and the Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award from The Protein Society. He is also a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor of Biochemistry
University of California, Berkeley