We are interested in uncovering functions of long noncoding RNAs in mammalian cells. We are currently specifically focusing on functions in establishment of cell fate in early development and differentiation towards the neuronal and endodermal lineages, in development in vivo, and during regeneration in the peripheral nervous system. In addition, we are interested in changes in lncRNA activity in disease, specifically focusing on cancer.
We are interested in understanding how functionality is encoded in the lncRNA loci. Does it depend on specific sequences? Is secondary structure important? We hypothesize that in many cases the functionality of lncRNAs depends on short domains, and would like to understand how to identify those domains and how they operate in the context of much longer RNAs.
We are interested in understanding how noncoding parts of our genome, and in particular those transcribed into RNAs are evolving. Comparative genomics can instruct us on which lncRNAs are important, which regions within them are functional, and hint at the potential lncRNA mechanism of action.