Jared Schrader

Jared Schrader

Associate Professor



 Biological Sciences Building Room 2119



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Biological Sciences

Jared Schrader

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Molecular systems biology

  • mRNA translation and decay

  • Genome-wide high-throughput methods in bacteria

  • Host-pathogen interactions

  • Chemical biology


Sub-cellular organization of mRNA decay in bacteria

In eukaryotic cells, mRNA decay is often organized in ribonucleoprotein granules like RNA processing-bodies or stress granules. We found that bacteria can also make similar ribonucleoprotein granules that we termed bacterial ribonucleoprotein bodies (BR-bodies) composed of Ribonuclease E, protein components of the RNA degradosome, and RNA. These BR-bodies appear to be important for mRNA degradation and are assembled by liquid-liquid phase separation from the cytoplasm forming a compartment with high concentrations of the RNA degradosome and RNA. Here were's currently utilizing high-throughput mRNA decay assays and cell biology experiments to probe the role of these granules in mRNA decay.


Role of BR-bodies in host colonization

BR-bodies promote rapid mRNA decay which allows bacteria to quickly adapt their transcriptomes to their changing environments.  We are investigation how BR-bodies impact host colonization, as Tn-insertion mutants in various species have shown a reduction in fitness during host colonization.  We are currently characterizing which species BR-bodies play a role in host colonization, and also by which molecular mechanisms they use to promote host colonization.


Mechanisms of non-Shine-Dalgarno translation initiation

The mechanism of translation initiation in bacteria was first examined in E. coli, where the presence of a Shine-Dalgarno site preceding the start codon leads to the initiation of translation in the proper reading frame. Now with thousands of sequenced bacterial genomes it was discovered that less than 1/2 of all bacterial protein coding genes are preceded by a Shine-Dalgarno site. Additionally, individual bacterial species including many cyanobacteria and bacteroidetes, lack Shine-Dalgarno sites in nearly 90% of their genes! We are therefore investigating the mechanisms of non-Shine-Dalgarno initiation by utilizing Caulobacter crescentus. Caulobacter contains Shine-Dalgarno sites in only 23.5% of its genes, has a doubling time of less than 2 hours, has well established genetic tools, and has a well annotated transcriptome. We are currently utilizing ribosome profiling, translation reporters, and in vitro reconstituted translation initiation assays to dissect the factors required for non-Shine-Dalgarno initiation. 


Currently accepting new PhD students



  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University 2011-2015
  • Ph.D. Biophysical Chemistry, Northwestern University 2011
  • B.S. Microbiology, Colorado State University 2005

Awards and grants

  • WSU Career Chair Award, 2023

  • Junior Faculty Award, WSU Academy of Scholars, 2018

  •  NIH NIGMS MIRA Award R35GM124733, 2017-2027

Selected publications

Al-Husini, N., D. T. Tomares, Z. Pfaffenberger, N. S. Muthunayake, M. A. Samad, T. Zuo, O. Bitar, J. R. Aretakis, M.-H. M. Bharmal, A. Gega, J. S. Biteen, W. S. Childers and J. M. Schrader. BR-bodies provide selectively permeable condensates that stimulate mRNA decay and prevent release of decay intermediates. Molecular Cell 2020.

Al-Husini, N., Tomares, D.T., Bitar, O., Childers, W.S., Schrader, J.M. α-proteobacterial RNA degradosomes assemble liquid-liquid phase separated RNP bodies. Molecular Cell, 2018. 

Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught

Board Member - Michigan Branch of the American Society of Microbiology

Member of the WSU Institutional Biosafety Committee

Citation index

 Google Scholar Link

Courses taught by Jared Schrader

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022