My laboratory investigates the role of RNA in cellular organization and in neurodegenerative disease. There are currently three active areas of research in my laboratory. One, we are studying how RNA can act as a scaffold for cellular compartmentalization by mediating the assembly of RNA-containing granules. Second, we examine how regulated RNA-DNA interactions contribute to the formation of chromatin domains such as telomeres and centromeres. Last, and directly relevant to this proposal, we are studying how aberrant RNA self-assembly can result in cellular dysfunction as is observed in certain neurological diseases. Our approach is to use a combination of biophysical tools in conjunction with cellular and biochemical reconstitution to investigate these phenomena at a molecular level. We specialize in quantitative light microscopy, and a part of my research program focuses on developing new imaging-based technologies to achieve these goals.