Post-transcriptional Regulation of Gene Expression in Development & Disease

Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and small non-coding RNAs plays an essential role in animal development and disease.

(1) We study post-transcriptional regulation during the maternal-to-zygotic transition in early embryos as well as in neural lineages in the developing brain of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, using diverse techniques including genetics, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and computational biology. Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

(2) We use Drosophila to understand the mechanisms underlying rare human diseases caused by mutations in RBPs. Funding: Solve-RD Rare Diseases Models & Mechanisms Europe, and Rare Diseases Models & Mechanisms Canada.

(3) We have initiated analyses of the role of RBPs in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by producing phage-displayed synthetic antibodies that recognize dozens of RBPs implicated in the disease, and using the antibodies to study post-transcriptional regulation of the developmental transcriptome of iPS cells induced to differentiate into neurons. Funding: Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI).

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Image by Christian Guthier 

“Mathematics is the art of the perfect. Physics is the art of the optimal. Biology is the art of the satisfactory.”

- Sydney Brenner