After graduating from Fisher Bob Battaglia took a cross country trip to San Francisco before starting graduate school at Cornell. One PhD and a wedding later, he is rocking it as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT. Bob is not only terribly smart, he is an extremely kind individual with a true passion for science. Here is an excerpt from his profile:
During his PhD, he successfully crystalized and solved the structures of several riboswitches using X-ray crystallography. His research demonstrated that T-box riboswitches can accommodate the binding of both uncharged and charged tRNAs. tRNAs are still Dr. Battaglia’s favorite RNAs because of how efficiently they facilitate the flow of information from RNA to protein. He says “tRNAs are the unsung heroes of the central dogma.” Dr. Battaglia’s work continues to be inspired by his deep interest in riboswitches and tRNA-related processes. As a post-doctoral fellow at MIT, the project that he is most excited about these days is to understand the implications of transcription and translation being mostly uncoupled processes in the model bacterium B. subtilis. "The idea that the translating ribosome directly trails transcribing RNA polymerase in bacteria has shaped our understanding of how a lot of gene regulatory mechanisms work in prokaryotes. Reexamining that paradigm by studying these mechanisms in bacteria with "runaway" transcription should reveal interesting new biology."