Research Published by Jarrod French, PhD, Selected as “Editor’s Pick” in Prestigious Journal

AUSTIN, Minn. – An article published by The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota’s Jarrod French, PhD, Associate Professor and leader of the Nucleotide Metabolism and Drug Discovery research section has been selected as an “Editor’s Pick” in the prestigious Journal of Biological Chemistry. The journal’s “Editor’s Pick” recognizes work that provides an exceptional contribution to the field.

“This Editor’s Pick selection shows that our peers appreciate the value and importance of the work at The Hormel Institute,” said Dr. French.

The article titled “Human Uridine 5′-Monophosphate Synthase Stores Metabolic Potential in Inactive Biomolecular Condensates,” focuses on an enzyme called uridine 5’-monophosphate synthase (UMPS). UMPS is an essential protein that can cause devastating diseases when it is defective but can also be targeted by drugs to treat cancer and viruses.

Using The Hormel Institute’s state of the art Cryo-EM Facility, which houses a 300kv Titan Krios, one of the world’s most powerful electron microscopes, Dr. French and his team discovered a new structure that explains how cells make the pyrimidines needed for DNA. Pyrimidines play a central role in cellular regulation and metabolism, which are important processes that can be altered in cancer cells.

“The long-term goal of this research is to understand how purine and pyrimidine metabolism is regulated and impaired,” said Dr. French. “Rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, require large amounts of pyrimidines to replicate their DNA. Understanding how pyrimidines are regulated will help us to identify new targets for the development of cancer therapies.”

The full article can be found here:



The Hormel Institute is an independent biomedical research department within the University of Minnesota’s Office of the Vice President for Research. Collaborative research partners include Masonic Cancer Center UMN (a Comprehensive Cancer Center as designated by the National Cancer Institute, N.I.H.), Mayo Clinic, and many other leading research centers worldwide. The Hormel Institute, which tripled in size in 2008 and doubled again in size in 2016, is home to some of the world’s most cutting-edge research technologies and expert scientists. Over the next few years, The Hormel Institute will broaden its impact through innovative, world class research in its quest to improve human health.