Publication in JMB that further defined mechanistic distinctions between human and yeast TFIIH.  This was a collaboration led by the Galburt lab (WashU), with key contributions from the Hahn lab and the Tsutakawa lab.  Using biochemical and biophysical methods, we showed that altered transcription start site usage in yeast vs. humans is linked to altered TFIIH dsDNA translocase processivity. Only yeast Ssl2 is processive (human XPB is not) and Ssl2 requires the TFIIH kinase module for activation. (January 2021)

PhD student Kira Cozzolino joins the lab.  Welcome Kira! (January 2021)

Media coverage of Rimel et al. paper from Genes & Development (November 2020).

Publication in Genes & Development (Rimel et al.) that uncovers new mechanisms for CDK7 function and regulation within TFIIH.  The project involved next-generation inhibitors (in collaboration with Syros Pharmaceuticals), transcriptomics, biochemical assays and large-scale phosphoproteomics. (October 2020) 

Olivia Luyties is awarded a pre-doctoral F31 fellowship from the NCI, for her studies on CDK7 and CDK9.  Congratulations Olivia! (August 2020)

The Young lab (MIT) and colleagues published a study in Science that shows that clinically relevant drugs selectively partition in nuclear condensates, including condensates formed by the Mediator complex.  This implicates Mediator as a promising therapeutic target and suggests that drug partitioning behaviors impact their clinical efficacy (June 2020).

Article published in Molecular Cell (Fant et al.) that used biochemical reconstitution and transcriptomics to discover that TFIID is required to establish pol II promoter-proximal pausing (May 2020).

Jonathan Rubin defends his PhD thesis.  Congratulations Dr. Rubin! (May 2020)

Megan Palacio joins our group as a PhD student.  Welcome to the lab Meg! (May 2020)

Undergraduates John Moir and Robert Meushaw each graduate with summa cum laude honors based upon their stellar academic performance and substantial research contributions.  Congratulations!

Review article on the structure and mechanism of the pol II transcription machinery published in Genes & Development (April, 2020).

Congratulations to Dr. Cecilia Levandowski, who successfully defended her PhD thesis (March 2020). Dr. Levandowski now returns to medical school (UC Anschutz School of Medicine) to complete her MD.

Jenna Rimel awarded an NCI pre-doctoral fellowship (F31) to pursue her studies on TFIIH and CDK7.  Congratulations Jenna! (March 2020)

Keystone Symposium on "Gene Regulation: from mechanisms to disease" in Keystone, CO (January, 2020).

Collaborating on studies completed by the Young lab (MIT), published in Nature (August, 2019) and Molecular Cell (December 2019), we further define the phase separation behavior of Mediator, and how it selectively partitions in molecular condensates that contain pol II or signaling factors that regulate stimulus-specific TFs.

Cecie presents her work on the naturally occurring D40p53 isoform at two international p53 isoforms conferences: Lyon, France (poster; May 2019) and Dubrovnik, Croatia (talk; November, 2019).

Publication in Molecular Cell that describes non-redundant and mechanistically distinct requirements for CDK8 vs. CDK19 during cellular responses to the universal inflammatory cytokine IFNgamma (November, 2019). Work was part of our ongoing collaboration with the Kovarik lab (MPL, Vienna).

Kevin Clopper joins our group as a PhD student.  Welcome Kevin! (October 2019)

Mechanisms of Eukaryotic Transcription meeting, Cold Spring Harbor, NY (August 2019).

Charli Fant defends her PhD thesis (July 2019).  Congratulations Dr. Fant!

PhD students Taylor Jones and Olivia Luyties join the lab.  Welcome!  (May 2019)

Review article about the Mediator kinases CDK8 and CDK19, published in Transcription (April, 2019).

Assisting with a Young lab (MIT) study, publication in Cell that establishes functional links between DNA-binding transcription factors, Mediator, and liquid-liquid phase separation. Mediator itself is shown to undergo phase separation at low concentration in vitro (December 2018).

Taatjes Lab Halloween Party and Pumpkin Carving Contest (October 2018).

ASBMB Special Symposium on Chromatin and RNA polymerase II, Snowbird, Utah (October 2018).

SMICH (Signaling Mechanisms In Cellular Homeostasis) PhD program retreat, sponsored by Austrian Science Fund; Strass im Strassertale, Austria (September 2018).


University of Colorado Biochemistry Retreat in Winter Park, Colorado (September 2018).

Review published in JBC on Mediator structure and function (September 2018).

Colorado Chromatin and Genome Regulation Meeting (August 2018).

Dr. Tim Decker joins the group as a postdoc, after earning his PhD in the lab of Dirk Eick. Welcome to the group Tim! (July 2018).

Ph D. student Allison Schier joins the lab. Welcome Alli! (May 2018).

The lab welcomes Raoul Martin from the Nogales lab as a visiting scholar (April 2018). 

Publication of review article on the structure and function of the TFIIH complex in Protein Science (April 2018).

Autumn York, 2008 Taatjes Lab alumna, is selected as an HHMI Hannah Gray fellow, an award for 15 exceptional early career scientists.

Symposium: The Biology of RNA-Protein Complexes, Regensberg, Germany. (October 2017)

Zachary Maas joins the lab. Welcome, Zach! September 2017

Publication in Cell Reports that identified human TFIIH kinase CDK7 as an epigenetic regulator of transcription-associated chromatin marks H3K4me3 and H3K36me3 (August 2017) 

Mechanisms of Eukaryotic Transcription meeting at Cold Spring Harbor, August 2017

Colorado Chromatin Meeting at CSU (Fort Collins, CO), July 2017

Ben Allen defends his PhD thesis. Congratulations Ben! (July 2017)

Publication in MCB (Audetat et al.) that describes roles for the Mediator kinase CDK19 in expression of genes involved in mitosis and cholesterol metabolism, and kinase-independent roles in the regulation of p53 response (July 2017).

Review in Protein Science (Alhadid et al.) that summarizes recent advances in mechanistic understanding of bacterial RNA polymerase using single molecule approaches (July 2017).

The lab welcomes high school students Rollin Leavitt (May 2017) and Noorain Baig (June 2017).

PhD student Jenna Rimel joins the group.  Welcome Jenna! (May 2017)

Undergraduates Robert Meushaw (February 2017) and John Moir (June 2017) join the lab.  Welcome!