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Cellular stresses, such as those caused by infection or chronic disease, trigger a general shutdown of protein synthesis. However, proteins that are important for cell recovery or activating programmed cell death continue to be produced. Nicolle Rosa Mercado studies how mRNA dynamics impact the regulation of protein production upon cellular stress. By identifying the targets and effectors of this regulation, Rosa Mercado's work could reveal potential therapeutic targets to treat conditions ranging from neurodegeneration to cancer.