Sunday, April 23, 2017
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“What physics was to the 20th century, biology will be to the 21st and RNA will be a vital part of it.”–The Economist

 

Our lab is devoted to elucidating the molecular basis of medically important RNAs involved in catalysis and gene regulation using very high-resolution structural tools, biophysical methods, and chemical biology approaches. In the past few years, the human genome project has helped change our understanding of the functions that RNAs play in the central dogma of biology. Intriguingly, only 1.5% of human genome actually codes for proteins. The rest remains at the level of RNA, the so-called non-protein coding RNA. Is it possible that even half of these non-protein coding RNAs have no relevant function?



Over the past 25 years, RNA discoveries have given rise to a completely new understanding of the role of RNA in cell biology. RNA has the ability not only to store information, but also regulate various cellular functions and catalyze chemical reactions –overlapping the roles of both DNA and proteins. Our lab’s vision is to establish the infrastructure for fast, routine, atomic structure determination, dynamics, and function of RNA complexes so as to unveil some fascinating and exciting functions of RNAs in a biologically relevant context.

 

Our objectives:

  • Study the structure, interactions, dynamics, and function of RNA complexes involved in catalysis and gene regulation.
  • Develop advanced NMR and RNA technologies to revolutionize the study of large biomolecular interactions.
  • Develop new NMR tools for high-throughput screening.
  • Devise novel NMR pulse sequences for large macromolecules.