Our lab studies mechanisms underlying gene regulation by non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Many RNAs are transcribed but have functions other than to translate the sequence information to proteins. To fulfill a specific role, each RNA has a unique combination of sequence and structure. A major effort in the laboratory is to uncover how structures govern RNA function, which frequently involves interacting with proteins. The laboratory is thus focusing on how protein and RNA structures ensure specific interactions, for accurate downstream effects. In particular, our current focus is on RNA processing, including small RNA maturation, as well as regulation of RNA structure and function via chemical modifications. Using both biochemistry and biophysics to elucidate fundamental mechanisms of RNA-protein interactions at atomic resolution, our group also aims to use the gained knowledge to develop new classes of therapeutic agents and research tools.

Awards and Achievements

  • Pew Scholar