Traci Hall, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Epigenetics & Stem Cell Biology Laboratory / Macromolecular Structure Group


David P Rall Building
111 Tw Alexander Dr
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709


Research Topics

The Hall lab studies RNA regulation and its importance in stem cell biology, embryonic development, and environmental response. We conduct fundamental research, integrating molecular, biochemical, and structural approaches to understand the functions of RNA regulatory proteins. Much of our lab’s research begins with a discovery phase of crystal structure determination. We analyze these structures in depth to guide functional studies in vitro and in vivo. Our long-term goals are to determine how proteins recognize and regulate RNA targets and to link the atomic structure and target RNA specificity of RNA regulatory proteins with their ability influence cellular responses.

Our lab’s work falls into the three major current projects.

  • For more than 20 years, we have been fascinated by the ability of a family of RNA-binding proteins called PUF proteins to recognize and regulate specific mRNA targets. We are still discovering new things about how the PUF proteins have evolved for RNA regulation.
  • Several years ago, our group identified two new families of PUF-like proteins that function in ribosome biogenesis. We are studying their structures and functions as well as those of other ribosome biogenesis factors.
  • We use structure to study post-transcriptional gene regulation beyond PUF proteins. Our recent efforts aim to understand non-coding RNA processing and function.


Traci M.T. Hall, Ph.D. is a tenured Senior Investigator leading the Macromolecular Structure Group. She earned her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. in pharmacology and molecular sciences from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Diplomacy Fellow with the U.S. Agency for International Development and a postdoctoral fellow with Daniel J. Leahy at Johns Hopkins before joining the NIEHS in 1998. She served as acting Lab Chief for the NIEHS Laboratory of Structural Biology 2012–2014.

Selected Publications

  1. Warden MS, DeRose EF, Tamayo JV, Mueller GA, Gavis ER, Hall TMT. The translational repressor Glorund uses interchangeable RNA recognition domains to recognize Drosophila nanos. Nucleic Acids Res. 2023.
  2. Jouravleva K, Golovenko D, Demo G, Dutcher RC, Hall TMT, Zamore PD, Korostelev AA. Structural basis of microRNA biogenesis by Dicer-1 and its partner protein Loqs-PB. Mol Cell. 2022;82(21):4049-4063.e6.
  3. Weidmann CA, Qiu C, Arvola RM, Lou TF, Killingsworth J, Campbell ZT, Tanaka Hall TM, Goldstrohm AC. Drosophila Nanos acts as a molecular clamp that modulates the RNA-binding and repression activities of Pumilio. Elife. 2016;5.
  4. Wang X, McLachlan J, Zamore PD, Hall TM. Modular recognition of RNA by a human pumilio-homology domain. Cell. 2002;110(4):501-12.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Tuesday, July 17, 2018