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Gerald M. Wilson, PhD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Administrative Title:

Interim Chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


108NG, 239

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

B.Sc. (Honours), Biochemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Ph.D., Biochemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (Mentor: Dr. Roger G. Deeley)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology and Immunology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC (Mentor: Dr. Gary Brewer)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ (Mentor: Dr. Gary Brewer)

Research Teaching Specialist II, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ


I earned my B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.  I then completed post-doctoral training at Wake Forest University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  In 2002, I joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2009.  I was appointed Director of the Combined UMB/UMBC Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2011.

I am also a member of the Molecular and Structural Biology Program within the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center Program in Oncology, and collaborate with both basic and clinical research investigators to identify and characterize post-transcriptional gene regulatory mechanisms the contribute to oncogenesis and tumor development. My research program has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.

Our key research interests are the cellular mechanisms that regulate the production of many important gene products, including oncoproteins, inflammatory mediators, and lipoprotein receptors. In particular, we focus on protein factors that regulate cytoplasmic mRNA turnover rates, and the signaling systems that may transiently modulate the activity of these factors. Experimental approaches vary from cell and molecular biology (cultured cell systems, transfection, RNA interference) to biochemical (gel mobility shift, protein-protein and protein-RNA cross-linking) and biophysical systems (fluorescence anisotropy, resonance energy transfer). Some current foci of interest include: 

  • Trans-acting factors that regulate decay of oncoprotein and inflammatory mediator mRNAs

  • The role of post-transcriptional gene regulatory circuits in tumor development

  • mRNA stability as a novel mechanism to enhance hepatic LDL receptor expression

Research/Clinical Keywords

Gene expression, RNA turnover, RNA-binding proteins, fluorescence spectroscopy, tumor progression, inflammatory mediators, lipoprotein receptors

Highlighted Publications

Kishor, A., White, E.J.F., Matsangos, A.E., Yan, Z., Tandukar, B., and Wilson, G.M. (2017) Hsp70’s RNA-binding and mRNA-stabilizing activities are independent of its protein chaperone functions.  J. Biol. Chem. 292, 14122-14133.

Yoon, J., Jo, M.H., White, E.J.F., De, S., Hafner, M., Zucconi, B.E., Abdelmohsen, K., Martindale, J.L., Yang, X., Wood 3rd, W.H., Shin, Y.M., Song, J., Tuschl, T., Becker, K.G., Wilson, G.M., Hohng, S., and Gorospe, M. (2015) AUF1 promotes let-7b loading on Argonaute 2.  Genes Dev. 29, 1599-1604.

Zucconi, B.E. and Wilson, G.M. (2013) Assembly of functional ribonucleoprotein complexes by AU-rich element RNA-binding protein 1 (AUF1) requires base-dependent and -independent RNA contacts. J. Biol. Chem. 288, 17759-17768.

Kishor, A., Tandukar, B., Ly, Y.V., Toth, E.A., Suarez, Y., Brewer, G., and Wilson, G.M. (2013) Hsp70 is a novel posttranscriptional regulator of gene expression that binds and stabilizes selected mRNAs containing AU-rich elements. Mol. Cell. Biol. 33, 71-84.

White, E.J.F., Brewer, G., and Wilson, G.M. (2013) Post-transcriptional control of gene expression by AUF1: Mechanisms, physiological targets, and regulation. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1829, 680-688.

Brennan, S.E., Kuwano, Y., Alkharouf, N., Blackshear, P.J., Gorospe, M., and Wilson, G.M. (2009) The mRNA-destabilizing protein tristetraprolin is suppressed in many cancers, altering tumorigenic phenotypes and patient prognosis. Cancer Res. 69, 5168-5176.