We are interested in the cellular machinery that controls the activity of genetic material (messenger RNA), which in turn serves as the template for the synthesis of proteins in mammals. These machines help regulate such biological processes as fat metabolism, germ cell development, neurodevelopment and many others. Moreover, its ability to regulate messenger RNAs is often disregulated in cancers and other diseases. We are studying how these machines are recruited to specific messenger RNAs, and how, once recruited, they shut down protein synthesis and often bring about messenger RNA degradation.
We are also interested in understanding how these machines are themselves being regulated as cell respond to different stimuli. Understanding these fundamental mechanisms of how the mRNA silencing machines functions will allow us to design new molecular diagnostics for screening diseases and potentially target these diseases through novel therapeutic avenues.