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Tom Cech studies the structures and mechanisms of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and RNA-protein complexes, such as the telomerase RNA-TERT protein complex, which extends chromosome ends. Vast numbers of lncRNAs have been identified in mammals, some of which are involved in regulating histone-modifying proteins and thereby transcription. Cech and his team are taking a mechanistic and biophysical approach to studying proteins that bind these lncRNAs. They are combining protein purification and rigorous binding analyses with genome-wide experiments and single-molecule live-cell imaging to interrogate the biology of these non-coding ribonucleoproteins.