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The Hill Lab @ York

Molecular mechanisms of viral gene expression


Viruses do things differently

Translation of mRNA by the ribosome is essential for all life. It’s normally exceptionally accurate, with spontaneous error rates of only ~1 in 100,000 codons.


When RNA viruses infect cells, they use the ribosomes in the host cell to translate their genomes. However, they often force the ribosome to make 'mistakes' - e.g. shift into a different reading frame, initiate in a different place, or read through a stop codon. 


These ‘forced errors’ are actually tightly-regulated events that are vitally important to viral gene expression. If disrupted, many viruses fail to complete their replication cycles. We're trying to better understand these events at a molecular level.

PhD studentship
October 2024 entry 

We have a fully-funded PhD position in our lab through the BBSRC White Rose DTP in Mechanistic Biology

Latest Publications

A comprehensive review covering the structural and mechanistic basis of programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting (-1PRF) in RNA viruses. Here we provide a summary of historical perspectives, highlight recent advances and discuss to what extent a general model for −1PRF remains a useful way of thinking.

Find Us


Department of Biology

University of York

Wentworth Way


United Kingdom

YO10 5DD


+44 (0)1904 328688

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