Ramanujan Hegde earned his MD and PhD from UCSF in 1999, completing his thesis work in the laboratory of Vishwanath Lingappa. He then started his own laboratory at the US National Institutes of Health, rising to the position of Senior Investigator. In 2011, Hegde moved to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, where he is currently a Programme Leader. Research in the Hegde lab is focused on understanding the molecular basis of intracellular protein organization. His group has made several contributions to dissecting the pathways of protein targeting and insertion at the endoplasmic reticulum, the quality control pathways that monitor failures in protein maturation, and the cellular and organismal consequences of failed protein quality control. Hegde discovered a widely conserved pathway for the post-translational targeting and insertion of tail-anchored membrane proteins, and made several contributions to its mechanistic dissection. More recently, his group has used advances in cryo-EM to gain structural insights into the essential processes of mammalian protein translation, co-translational protein targeting, and protein translocation. In parallel with these studies on protein biosynthesis, Hegde has shown that protein targeting is prone to inefficiency, and that chronic protein mis-targeting can lead to neurodegeneration. This led his group to investigate how mis-localized proteins are recognized and degraded, leading to their discovery of new protein quality control pathways. These and other studies have contributed to a deeper understanding of the biosynthetic and quality control pathways that maintain cellular protein homeostasis. Hegde’s work has been recognized by several honours, including his election as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and Fellow of the Royal Society.
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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Francis Crick Avenue
Phone: (+44) 1223 26 7038