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Explore the World of Vaults

The Laboratory of Leonard Rome at UCLA was established in 1979. Since 1986, the Rome laboratory has been studying a novel cellular organelle called a "vault", Vaults were first described (discovered) by Rome and his a former postdoc, Nancy Kedersha, in 1986. Over three-times the size of a ribosome, vaults are the largest cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein particles known. They are ubiquitous cell structures that have been conserved throughout evolution and are found in phylogeny as diverse as mammals, avians, amphibians, and even primitive eukaryotes like slime mold and amoeba. The particle is thought to carry out a basic cellular function, however, the precise function remains unknown. Currently Professor Rome manages a research laboratory in the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA that is  focused on engineering the vault particle as flexible nano-scale capsules for a wide variety of applications from immune oncology to vaccine development to enzyme bioreactors for environmental remediation. 


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