Eric Miska PhD, Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Genetics, Cancer Research UK Senior Research Fellow, Member of the Department of Genetics and Affiliated Faculty Member of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Non-coding RNA and genome dynamics
What does non-coding RNA do in development and disease? Most of the RNA transcribed from the DNA in our genome is not translated into protein but instead has direct functions in regulating biological processes.
This paradigm shift in nucleic acid biology has been supported by technical advances in high-throughput sequencing, molecular genetics and computational biology, which can be combined with more traditional biochemical analyses.
Many species and roles of non-coding RNA have been identified. Our goal is to understand how non-coding RNAs regulate development, physiology and disease. We are exploring microRNA in the pathology of cancer and other diseases, RNA interference in viral immunity, Piwi- interacting RNA in germline development and genome integrity, and endogenous small interfering RNA in epigenetic inheritance – where we predict a big impact in understanding human health. Our model organisms are the nematode worm, mouse and human cell culture. More recently we have started using comparative genomics and de- novo genome sequencing of African cichlid fish to unravel the role of non-coding RNA in evolution.
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