While she was an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, designing and synthesizing specific substrates and inhibitors of the enzymes in the serine protease family, she first suggested that the degeneracy of the Genetic Code would enable additional information to be represented within a protein coding sequence, and speculated that among additional messages would be information that focuses exploration on areas encoding substrate specificity while conserving the gene family framework, as described in “Is there a higher-level genetic code?” (1984). [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6493222]
Following research, teaching and mentoring medical, dental and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Georgetown University Medical Center, she spent over a decade in the research laboratories of Merck & Co. Inc, where she rose to Senior Director with responsibility for identifying promising breakthrough approaches to treatment of a broad range of unmet human health needs. She then helped to start several biotechnology companies, serving in senior management roles, on SABs and BODs.
She has organized and chaired several interdisciplinary international conferences, including “Molecular Strategies in Biological Evolution” (with co-chair Werner Arber, 1998), and the Effect of DNA Sequence and Structure on Genome Evolution (2011), has written and edited books intended both for a general audience and scientists, and has discussed her work on NPR and CNN.
Lynn Caporale’s current work is focused on exploring the role of Natural Selection in capturing regularities in the world and the representation of this information in evolving genomes (thus aligning the probability of certain classes of mutation with the probability that they would be adaptive) including the role of genome architecture in increasing the probability of genetic variations that facilitate adaptation to recurrent classes of changes in the environment.