Dr. Ya-Ming Hou

Thomas Jefferson University,
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Phone: (215) 503-4480.
Email: Ya-Ming.Hou@jefferson.edu

Professor Ya-Ming Hou received her B. S. from National Taiwan University in Agricultural Chemistry, her M.A. From University of California, Berkeley in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and her Ph.D. From University of California, Berkeley in Comparative Biochemistry in the laboratory of Professor Sung-Hou Kim. She was a postdoc fellow with Professor Paul Schimmel at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a visiting fellow with Professor Richard Giege at CNRS, Strasbourg, France. She joined the faculty of Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Thomas Jefferson University in 1992 and is now a tenured Full Professor.

Lab Members


Howard Gamper
Research Asst. Professor


I am interested in understanding both programmed and non-programmed tRNA frameshift on the ribosome at the molecular and kinetic levels.


Thomas Christian
Postdoctoral Fellow


I am interested in understanding the molecular and structural mechanisms of tRNA methyltransferases. I would like to determine how specific methyltransferases recognize their tRNA targets and to explore strategies that these enzymes catalyze methyl transfer.


Isao Masuda
Postdoctoral Fellow


I am interested in the mechanism of translational frameshifting, a non-standard phenomenon in decoding genetic codes into proteins. I am going to examine how the tRNAs and ribosomes are involved in frameshifting using both molecular biological and biochemical approaches.

Kevin Donaldson
Masters Student


I am interested in how pathogenic mutations in aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are associated with peripheral neuropathies.

Sitao Yin
Postdoctoral Fellow


I am interested in how post-transcriptional methylation to cytosine contributes to RNA structure and function.

Ryuichi Takase
Postdoctoral Fellow


I am interested in understanding how post-transcriptional methylation to adenine and guanine contributes to RNA structure and function.

Meixia Li
Exchange Student
HuaZhong University, China

I am interested in studying tRNA methylation and tRNA aminoacylation and the role of these in human health and disease.

Veda Nambi
Undergraduate Study
Bryn Mawr College

I am interested in understanding how arginyl-tRNA transferase selects its tRNA substrate.

Ryuma Matsubara

I am interested in the genetic network of tRNA methylation in bacteria.

Sunita Maharjen

I am interested in mitochondrial biology associated with tRNA mutations and neurodegenerative disease.


Barry Cooperman, U. Penn., Dynamics of tRNAs on ribosome.

Carol Deutsch, U. Penn., Protein Exit from ribosome exit tunnel.

Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, Spanish National Cancer Research Center, tRNA levels in cells.

Ruben Gonzalez, Columbia University, Single molecule FRET on ribosome dynamics.

Anna Kashina, U. Penn., Arginyl-tRNA transferase.

Marisa Kozlowski, U. Penn., Synthesis of activated amino acids for tRNA aminoacylation.

Evgeny Nudler, New York Medical School, tRNA transcription.

Piera Pasinelli, Farber Institute of Neuroscience, Thomas Jefferson Univ., AARS and ALS.

James Petersson, U. Penn., Analogs of tRNA modification reactions.

Joseph Piccirilli, University of Chicago, RNA post-transcriptional modifications.

Joanna Sulkowska, University of Warsaw, Knotted protein folds.

Meni Wanunu, Northeastern University, Nano pore sequencing.

Wei Yang, Florida State University, Molecular simulatio and dynamics of protein-RNA complexes

Xiaolu Yang, U. Penn., tRNA-cytochrome c interaction.

Shigeyuki Yokoyama, Riken Research Institute, Japan, Structural analysis of tRNA modification enzymes.

Alumni and Summer Students

Summer, 2014

  • Angela Chang (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Albert Chang (Radnor High School)

Summer, 2013

  • Jacob Peacock (Harvey Mudd College)
  • David McGuigan III (McGill University)
  • Angela Chang (Radnor High School)
  • Albert Chang (Radnor High School)

Summer, 2012

  • Jacob R. Peacock (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Angela Y. Chang (Radnor High School)
  • Albert J. Chang (Radnor High School)

Summer, 2011

  • Angela Y. Chang (Radnor High School)
  • Aijingwen Li (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Hazal Yilmaz (Sabanci University, Turkey)
  • Lena Ma (Lehigh University)

Summer, 2010

  • Angela Chang (Radnor High School)
  • Lena Ma (Hallahan High School)

Summer, 2009

  • Lena Ma (Hallahan High School)
  • Suhavi Tucker (Haverford College)

Summer, 2008

  • Lena Ma (Hallahan High School)

Summer, 2007

  • Danielle Gunter-Ward (Delaware State University)

Summer, 2004

  • Lindsey Ingerman (Colgate University)

Summer, 2003

  • Lindsey Ingerman (Colgate U)

Summer, 2000

  • Melissa Shive (Chadwick High School)
  • Genessa Doring (UCLA)

Summer, 1999

  • Remyt Florentino (Lawrence High School)
  • Jesse Chang (Penn State U)

Summer, 1998

  • Remyt Florentino (Lawrence High School)
  • Elise Carpenter (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Jennifer Zruski (Bryn Mawr College)

Summer, 1997

  • Remyt Florentino (Lawrence High School)

Summer, 1996

  • Emily Chu (Yale U)