PhD Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 2007
BS Biology, McMurry University, 2000
Dr. Hockert’s area of expertise involves three distinct areas: regulation of gene expression, cancer, and RNA processing. Regulation of gene expression involves understanding primarily how genes are controlled through proteins called transcription factors and how the various transcription factors all work together in order to ensure the correct levels and times for gene expression. His cancer research has been mainly into how cancer cells break away from their normal genetic controls and how cancer develops.
The main focus of Dr. Hockert’s research is in the area of RNA processing. RNA processing is a series of three essential events that must occur in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells for a pre-mRNA to become fully mature and to be released into the cytoplasm. The three events are 5’ capping, splicing, and polyadenylation. Dr. Hockert focuses on the polyadenylation event in RNA processing, which is the addition of 250-300 adenine nucleotides to the 3’ end of the messenger RNA. The protein that his research focuses on is called CstF-64 and is involved with clipping off a portion of the pre-mRNA (called the cleavage step) before the poly-A tail is added.
Dr. Hockert is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction literature and is happy to discuss any of the wonderful things that he has seen at UC during his time here.
Hockert, J. A. and MacDonald, C. C., Chapter 9: “The Stem-Loop Luciferase Assay for Polyadenylation (SLAP) Method For Determining CstF-64-Dependent Polyadenylation Activity.” Polyadenylation: Methods and Protocols, J. Rorbach and A. Bobrowicz, Editors. Humana Press 2014