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RESEARCH FOCUS

In the past, studies of gene expression have focused on transcription and the regulatory networks comprised of interactions among promoters, transcription factors, and enhancers. However, evidence from the last decade shows that mRNA levels are often a poor predictor of protein production and suggests that post-transcriptional processing and regulation play an important role in gene expression. Specific RNA Binding Proteins (RBPs) not only regulate and carry out transcription, pre-mRNA processing, export, localization, translation and decay but also serve to interconnect the steps of the RNA lifecycle. The goal of this project is two-fold. First, we want to develop and optimize an integrated approach consisting of in vitro and in vivo assays that will enable the large-scale identification of RBPs binding to a selected set of mRNAs. Such an optimized experimental approach would be of great value for studying the post-transcriptional regulation of any mRNA of interest. Second, using the optimized experimental approach, we hope to be able to obtain temporal resolution of RNA regulation: we want to examine the protein factors that are bound to a specific mRNA and regulate its transcriptional elongation, pre-mRNA modification, export, and translation. The results obtained through such investigation would show if copies of the same transcript are regulated as parts of multiple mRNA-Protein complexes (mRNPs) as suggested by several studies and if such combinatorial regulation happens sequentially or simultaneously. Also, the study would elucidate if mRNAs involved in the same or similar biological processes are regulated by the same sets of RBPs. Further, a thorough and temporal study of RNA regulation would provide a comprehensive list of the RBPs that couple the different steps of the RNA lifecycle and help gain a more complete understanding of the mRNP system elements and the interactions among these elements on a large as well as temporal scale.

 

email  nina1984@stanford.edu

phone  (650) 728-5998

address 

  1. 279 W.Campus Drive

  2. Dept of Biochemistry

  3. Beckman Center, Room B403

  4. Stanford, CA 94305

birthdate  7/1/1984

education 

  1. BA- Vassar College,  Poughkeepsie, NY    2002-2006

  2. Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany (Feb-July, 2005)

  3. major 1  Biochemistry

  4. major 2  German Studies

hobbies  Running, tennis, hiking, dancing

thesis project

  1. “mRNA-Protein Complexes: Temporal Regulation and Coupling of Steps in the mRNA Life”