RNA modifications and spatial transcriptomics
How do cells regulate the birth, life and death of RNA molecules? RNAs undergo multiple processing steps along the way, including enzyme-mediated RNA modifications such as A-to-I editing or pseudouridinylation. Sequencing technologies have revealed that neurons are a hotspot for modifications; however, we know very little about their biological function due to a lack of tools.
We will engineer nucleic acid tools to image and quantify RNA modifications in a neuronal cell model system. Using high-throughput screening and modeling, we aim to decipher the biological consequences of RNA modifications in single cells.
Protein : nucleic acid interactions
Regulation of gene expression is driven by many factors, including the nucleic acid:protein interactomes.
We will utilize traditional and new bioorthogonal technologies to probe the RNA:protein and DNA:protein interactomes to understand gene regulatory networks.
RNA diagnostic tools
RNA is infrequently used in clinical diagnostics because it is prone to degradation and patient samples have high background compared to the signal produced using current methodologies. This has limited the information gathered in sequencing studies from advancing to the clinic.
We will apply fluorescent amplification technologies to circumvent these problems and bridge the benchtop (sequencing) to the bedside (hospital pathology laboratories).