ChemistryWestern Science

Patrick O’Donoghue

Patrick O’Donoghue

Contact Information

Title: Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Office: Rm 388 MSB,
Phone (Office): ext 82373

Research Areas

  • Genetic Code Expansion
    Programmed Protein Modification
    Protein Mistranslation in Health and Disease

Biochemistry webpage
Google Scholar


Ph.D. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Postdoctoral Fellow Yale University



The O’Donoghue lab investigates how proteome diversity generated by either protein modification or mistranslation impacts pathways to cancer and neurodegeneration. Proteins involved in major human diseases undergo significant posttranslational modification. Protein modifications relay chemical signals to alter cell fate and gene expression. Certain signals lead to disease while others do not. My lab established a leadership role in the area of genetic code expansion to investigate the role of disease-linked protein modifications. My lab engineered new methods to produce proteins with programmed modifications and elucidated their role in signaling pathways linked to disease. Recent breakthroughs in my lab enable programmed protein modification in living human cells. We recently developed novel optogenetic tools to visualize mistranslation in live cells. Expanding beyond individual proteins, we are now leading efforts to reveal the ability of naturally occurring tRNA mutants to induce proteome-wide mistranslation in models of neurodegenerative disease.


Selected Recent Publications

Full List of Publications on PubMed