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Jeffry L. Corden, Ph.D.

Headshot of Jeffry L. Corden
  • Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Research Interests

RNA polymerase II phosphorylation and transcription regulation more


Dr. Jeffry Corden is a professor of molecular biology and genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on mRNA biogenesis.

His team is currently studying the proteins that bind the C-terminal domain (CTD) in RNA polymerase II.

Dr. Corden received his undergraduate degree and his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. He completed postdoctoral training at the Laboratoire de Genetique Moleculaire des Eucaryotes of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Strasbourg, France. Dr. Corden joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1982.

Dr. Corden has served on the National Institutes of Health''s biological sciences study section and the medical school council at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has reviewed articles in numerous scientific publications, including Science, Cell, Nature, and the Journal of Molecular Biology. more


  • Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • B.S.; Oregon State University (Oregon) (1973)
  • Ph.D.; Oregon State University (Oregon) (1978)

Additional Training

  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Strasbourg, France, 1982

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Corden’s research focuses on mRNA biogenesis. The lab uses genetic and biochemical approaches in yeast and mammals to study the control of eucaryotic RNA polymerase II, particularly through its unusual repetitive domain at the C-terminus of the largest subunit. This C-terminal domain (CTD) is comprised of tandem repeats of the consensus sequence TyrSerProThrSerProSer.

A major effort in the lab is directed at studies of proteins that bind the CTD. Using the yeast two-hybrid approach, Dr. Corden and his team have identified a family of proteins that interact with the CTD. These proteins are similar to the serine/arginine-rich proteins involved in pre-mRNA splicing. A current focus of his research is to determine how these proteins function in mRNA biogenesis and how CTD phosphorylation regulates this function.

The yeast Nrd1 and Nab3 proteins interact with the CTD and act to direct termination of Pol II transcripts in a manner that does not lead to polyadenylation. Dr. Corden's lab has shown that this pathway is important for formation of the 3’ ends of small nuclear and nucleolar RNA transcripts in yeast. They are currently investigating the mechanism by which RNA sequences in the nascent transcript trigger Pol II termination.


Lab Website: Jeffry Corden Laboratory

Selected Publications

Darby MM, Serebreni L, Pan X, Boeke JD, Corden JL. "The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Nrd1-Nab3 transcription termination pathway acts in opposition to Ras signaling and mediates response to nutrient depletion." Mol Cell Biol. 2012 May;32(10):1762-75. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00050-12. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Jamonnak N, Creamer TJ, Darby MM, Schaughency P, Wheelan SJ, Corden JL. "Yeast Nrd1, Nab3, and Sen1 transcriptome-wide binding maps suggest multiple roles in post-transcriptional RNA processing." RNA. 2011 Nov;17(11):2011-25. doi: 10.1261/rna.2840711. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Creamer TJ, Darby MM, Jamonnak N, Schaughency P, Hao H, Wheelan SJ, Corden JL. "Transcriptome-wide binding sites for components of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae non-poly(A) termination pathway: Nrd1, Nab3, and Sen1." PLoS Genet. 2011 Oct;7(10):e1002329. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002329. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Corden JL. "Shining a new light on RNA-protein interactions." Chem Biol. 2010 Apr 23;17(4):316-8. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2010.04.003.

Corden JL. "Yeast Pol II start-site selection: the long and the short of it." EMBO Rep. 2008 Nov;9(11):1084-6. doi: 10.1038/embor.2008.192. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Activities & Honors

Professional Activities

  • Admissions Committee, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1988
  • Biochemistry Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB) Steering Committee, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1985
  • Medical School Council, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1987
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