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Jennifer Doudna wants to understand RNA-mediated regulation of the genome. Doudna and her team are focused on the discovery and development of CRISPR systems and other RNA-guided mechanisms of gene regulation. In particular, they are studying RNA-mediated initiation of protein synthesis in the hepatitis C virus. They are also investigating RNA-mediated genetic control, in which small RNAs are generated and used to target specific gene transcripts for destruction, in human cells and in bacteria. Each of these projects seeks to understand the molecular basis for RNA function, using a combination of structural, biophysical, and biochemical approaches.