Welcome to the Stasevich Lab

Our lab uses state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopy to understand how genes are turned on and off in living cells and organisms. We hope to someday control this process and thereby correct gene misregulation in diseases like cancer.

DNA → RNA → Protein

To deconstruct gene regulatory dynamics, we have developed techniques to image and quantify the kinetics of the central dogma of molecular biology in single living cells: DNA makes RNA makes protein.


The cell's control center

We focus on the nucleus, the cell’s control center, where genes are switched on and off. This gives genetically identical cells unique “identities.” This is why your neurons look and behave differently than your muscle cells, for example.


Gene activity and chromatin

Genes in cells are wrapped around histones to make chromatin (i.e. chromosomes). Tightly packed genes are off and tend to be wrapped around methylated histones (me flags). Loosely packed genes are on and tend to be wrapped around acetylated histones (ac flags).

We have developed unique technologies to images modified histones and see how these directly influence gene expression, transcription, and translation. To learn more, check out our work!


Our work: seeing the hard-to-see

We have developed fluorescence microscopy tools to image proteins in living cells that are difficult if not impossible to see using standard techniques. We are using these techniques to answer long-standing questions about how epigenetic factors contribute to gene misregulation in human disease. Currently we are focusing on two hard-to-see protein populations: (1) nascent proteins in the process of being translated (while still attached to RNA) and (2) post-translationally modified proteins, particularly modified chromatin and modified transcription machinery. Below you can see some sample data, along with images of the unique "Fixie" microscope we built (Video 4) to capture the data. Our microscope specializes in multiplexed single molecule tracking, an example of which is also shown below.

Video: Imaging mRNA translation, one molecule at a time.

Video: Our microscope's first week of existence.

Our people

Select publications

    T. Morisaki, K. Lyon, K. Deluca, J. Deluca, B. P. English, Z. Zhang, L. Lavis, J. B. Grimm, S. Viswanathan, L. Looger, T. Lionnet, and T. J. Stasevich, Real-time Quantification of Single RNA Translation Dynamics in Living Cells, Science 352, 1425 (2016).
    T. J. Stasevich, Y. Hayashi-Takanaka, Y. Sato, K. Maehara, Y. Ohkawa, K. Sagata-Sogawa, M. Tokunaga, T. Nagase, N. Nozaki, J. G. McNally, and H. Kimura, Regulation of RNA Polymerase II Transcription Kinetics by Histone Acetylation in Single Living Cells, Nature 516, 272 (2014).
    T. J. Stasevich, Y. Sato, N. Nozaki, and H. Kimura, Quantifying Histone and RNA polymerase II post-translational modification dynamics in mother and daughter cells, Methods 70, 77 (2014).
    T. J. Stasevich and J. G. McNally, Assembly of the Transcription Machinery: Ordered and Stable, Random and Dynamic, or Both?, Chromosoma 120, 533 (2011).
    F. Mueller*, D. Mazza*, T. J. Stasevich*, and J. G. McNally, FRAP and Kinetic Modeling in the Nucleus: What Do We Really Know?, Cur. Opin. Cell Biol. 22, 403 (2010). *contributed equally
    T. J. Stasevich*, F. Mueller*, A. Michelman-Ribeiro, T. Rosales, J. R. Knutson, and J. G. McNally, Cross-validating FRAP and FCS to Quantify the Impact of Photobleaching on In Vivo Binding Estimates, Biophysical J. 99, 3093 (2010). *contributed equally
    T. J. Stasevich, F. Mueller, D. T. Brown, and J. G. McNally, Dissecting the Binding Mechanism of the Linker Histone in Live Cells: An Integrated FRAP Analysis, EMBO J. 29, 1225 (2010).

Lab news

  • Pre 2019 -- Older news from the lab can be found here: Past lab news

Please inquire about open positions

About CSU: Colorado State University is a land-grant institution encompassing 57 academic departments in eight colleges with over 33,000 students. The University is located in Fort Collins, a (beer, bike, music, and dog!) friendly city of 161,000 located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The campus is an hour’s drive from Rocky Mountain National Park and has ready access to thousands of square miles of forest and mountains with exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and rock-climbing. Fort Collins has an excellent school system, an impressive selection of restaurants and quality fine arts programs, and the resources of Denver are just an hour’s drive away.

How to apply: Please send a C.V., cover letter, and contact information for three professional references to: tim.stasevich@colostate.edu.

How to reach us

  • The Stasevich lab is located in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Colorado State University in lovely Fort Collins. If you have any questions or are interested in visiting or even joining the lab, please don't hesitate to contact us! We currently have open post-doctoral positions!

    • Timothy J. Stasevich, Ph.D.
    • Assistant Professor
    • Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    • Campus Delivery 1870
    • Colorado State University
    • Fort Collins, CO 80523
    • Lab: (970) 491-0583
    • Fax: (970) 491-0494
    • Email: tim.stasevich@colostate.edu