Welcome to the NeuroRNA lab!

We aim to determine RNA coding of phenotypic variability and cell-specific attributes, e.g., what makes neurons so different from any other cell types. We study how the RNA codes and cell-specific attributes are altered in neurological diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) and aim to leverage our knowledge for potential therapeutic treatment.

The complexity and diversity of mammalian neurons is the result of millions of years of evolution that have given cells the ability to diverge at the molecular level. Alternative splicing is the major contributor to transcriptome diversity and we aim to dissect its key biological functions and principles of regulation. Nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD), beyond its classical RNA surveillance role, is another emerging post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism. These RNA processing mechanisms and their regulators (RNA binding proteins) are implicated in a wide range of neurological disorders.

Our studies have revealed the regulation and function of neural-specific splicing and NMD for neurons’ two unique attributes: 1. Axonogenesis. Only neurons but no other cell types have an axon. 2. Neuronal longevity. Neurons are the most long-lived cell types. We embrace and develop new technologies to tackle these fundamental questions at the intersection of neuroscience and RNA biology.