Biology, Microbiology, RNA Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Computational Biology of Gene Expression. We study mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene regulation using a combination of computational and experimental methods. A long-term goal is to understand the RNA splicing code: how the precise locations of exons and splice sites are identified in primary transcripts, and how this code is altered in cell- and condition-specific alternative splicing. Current efforts are focused on identifying splicing cis-regulatory elements and associated splicing factors, and understanding the context-dependent activities and functional interactions between these elements. We also study the roles that microRNAs (miRNAs) play in gene regulation, with an emphasis on determining the rules for miRNA-directed targeting of mRNAs. We are beginning to study the relationship between alternative cleavage and polyadenylation, which is commonly used to generate alternative mRNA isoforms differing in their 3′ UTRs, and miRNA regulation.