Douglas Lyne Black

Department Vice Chair, MIMG, MIMG, University of California Los Angeles

Professor, MIMG, University of California Los Angeles

(310) 794-7689

Laboratory Address:
MRL 6-567

Work Address:
MRL 6-780
CAMPUS - 951489

Office Phone Number:
(310) 794-7644

We are interested in how cells process genetic information to form the messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that encode proteins, and our primary focus is the regulation of the pre-mRNA splicing reaction. In producing multiple mRNAs and proteins from a single DNA gene, alternative splicing is a key mechanism for creating the specialized functions of cells. This mode of gene regulation is particularly prevalent in the mammalian nervous system, where it contributes to the enormous diversity of neuronal cells. Errors in RNA splicing and its regulation also contribute to many aspects of human disease, including cancer, neurodegeneration, and inherited genetic disorders. In studying a variety of biological systems and applying a wide range of molecular approaches, our common goal is to develop a mechanistic understanding of gene regulation at the RNA level, and ultimately apply this knowledge to human health.


Member, Gene Regulation GPB Home Area, Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology GPB Home Area, JCCC Gene Regulation Program Area, Brain Research Institute, Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Affiliate Faculty, Bioengineering

Research Interests

Our lab is interested in the regulation of pre-mRNA splicing and the biochemical mechanisms that control changes in splice sites. The sequences of metazoan genomes, with their relatively low gene numbers, have highlighted the question of how protein number can be expanded beyond the gene number for a complex organism. Alternative splicing, which allows the production of multiple mRNAs and hence multiple proteins from a single gene, is a major contributor to protein diversity. However, despite its key role in gene expression, this process is poorly understood mechanistically.


Dr. Black is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His B.A. degree is in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University working with Dr. Joan A. Steitz. Prior to coming to UCLA, he did postdoctoral work at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT, working with Drs. David Baltimore, Don Rio, and Phillip Sharp.