U-M Faculty Members

Over 170 faculty have joined the Center for RNA Biomedicine. They belong to seven schools and colleges across the University.
This large membership demonstrates the central role played by RNAs as well as the need for collaborations across disciplines to study the complexity of RNA biological processes. One of the goals of the Center is to foster and support such collaborations and synergies.

All University of Michigan faculty who study RNAs are welcome to join this community. Learn more about our membership and its benefits here.

First NameLast NameUnit/CollegeDepartmentResearch Description
CarlosAguilar
EngineeringBiomedical EngineeringThe long-term goal of the NOBEL is to make breakthroughs in medicine and biology that instill hope and inspire others. To accomplish this feat, we develop, optimize and apply innovative technologies such as integrative genomic assays and high-throughput sequencing, micro/nanofabricated devices, genome editing and computational modeling to our primary area of focus, which is skeletal muscle.

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Huda Akil

Medical SchoolMolecular & Behav Neurosci InstResearch in the Akil laboratory is focused on understanding the neurobiology of emotions, including pain, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Early on, our research focused on the role of the endorphins and their receptors in pain and stress responsiveness. We provided the first physiological evidence for a role of endogenous opioids in the brain; and showed that endorphins are activated by stress and cause pain inhibition, a phenomenon we termed Stress-Induced Analgesia. We defined how the posttranslational processing of opioid precursors is modulated by stress, and demonstrated the coordinate actions of the neuropeptide products on behavior.

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Benjamin Allen
Medical SchoolCell & Dev BiologyResearch in the Allen Lab is broadly focused on understanding the mechanisms of growth factor and morphogen signaling in development and disease. Specifically, we study the regulation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling during vertebrate embryogenesis using a wide range of approaches, including mouse developmental genetics, chick in ovo electroporation, biochemistry, and cell biology. The long-term goal of our research is to use insights gained from the study of Hh signaling in normal development in the treatment of a broad spectrum of developmental diseases and childhood and adult cancers.

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JoshiAlumkal
Medical SchoolInt Med The Alumkal Laboratory’s main emphasis is to understand how genomic and epigenomic changes contribute to lethal prostate cancer progression. We use biochemical, genomic, and epigenomic approaches in cellular models to clarify mechanisms by which key transcriptional regulators function. The most important goals of our studies are to identify therapies that effectively target and interdict lethal prostate cancer progression and to conduct innovative clinical trials designed to validate the molecular and clinical effectiveness of novel therapeutic agents.

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Anthony Antonellis

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsOur group is broadly interested in how human genetic variation affects gene and genome function. One area of research is grounded in the observation that mutations in aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases cause myriad disease phenotypes including dominant axonal neuropathy and recessive syndromes that include neurodevelopmental defects. A second area of research aims to study how gene regulation—via cis-acting transcriptional regulatory elements including enhancers and promoters—plays a role in the development of myelinating cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems. We are always looking for outstanding students and post-doctoral fellows to advance each of these areas.

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BrianAthey
Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsOne main area of research is the application of high resolution fluorescence optical microscopy coupled with high-throughput analysis, 3D imaging and machine learning to explore the chromatin structure and nuclear architecture of cells. This research emphasizes the convergence between 3D structural predictions and 3D structural measurements with microscopy, to provide insight into the transcriptional architecture of the interphase nucleus.

The next area of research centers on the exploration of the pharmacoepigenome in psychiatry, neurology, anesthesia and addiction medicine. This research employs high-throughput 4D microscopic imaging of enhancers, promoters and chromatin features, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). These methods are coupled with Hi-C chromatin conformation capture, chromatin state annotation, localization in postmortem human brain tissue and induced neuronal pluripotent stem cells, and machine learning for identification of regulatory variants, to provide insight into the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of inter-individual and inter-cohort differences in psychotropic drug response.

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Sara Jo Aton
LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyBrain states such as sleep and wakefulness have a profound impact on mRNA transcription and translation. Research in the Aton lab characterizes how sleep contributes to transcription and translation of mRNAs in different cell types of the central nervous system, how these processes affect learning and memory consolidation, and how they are affected by genetic variants associated with disorders of neurodevelopment.

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RyanBailey
LSAChemistryThe Bailey group develops and deploys multiplexed analytical tools to quantitate miRNA, mRNA, and lncRNA signatures of health and disease. They also are interested in probing mechanisms of epigenetic regulation of gene expression.

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James Bardwell

LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyOur lab focusses on chaperone biology, we are currently investigating our surprising finding that RNA may play a significant role in protein folding in vivo. Nucleic Acids Research, 2016 Jun 2;44(10):4835-45

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SamiBarmada
Medical SchoolNeurology RNA decay is critical for the maintenance of neuronal health and function. Our laboratory identified fundamental RNA decay abnormalities in the neurodegenerative diseases ALS and FTD, and is now focused on determining the etiology and consequences of these changes for neuronal survival and disease progression.

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ScottBarolo

Medical SchoolCell & Dev BiologyTranscriptional regulation of gene expression; cis-regulatory elements (enhancers)

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Stuart Batterman
Public HealthEnvironmental Health SciencesWebsite
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AllisonBilli
Medical SchoolDermatologyWebsite
Markus Bitzer
Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyMy research is focus on understanding the functions of non-coding RNA in kidney disease and aging. We have established an active biobank of currently over 100 human kidney tissue samples, which we are using to integrate transcriptomic profiles generated by microarray and RNA-sequencing, with quantitative morphometric (morphomic) data. Findings are validated in tissue culture and animal models of kidney injury and aging using genetic model systems as well as RNA-inhibitors and mimics.

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AlanBoyle

Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsWe use modern genomics techniques and high-throughput experiments to explore biological systems. We can leverage computational tools to help answer biological problems that were previously intractable. We aim to combine computational approaches with high-throughput biological assays to better understand the whole human transcriptional regulatory system.

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CharlesBrooks

LSAChemistryOur group studies RNA structure, dynamics and folding using both all atom and coarse grained models. Current interests involve the assembly of the ribosome and it’s functional dynamics, the folding of complex RNA junction topologies, pH effects in RNA catalysis and protein-RNA/DNA interactions in translation and transcription.

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Margit Burmeister

Medical SchoolMolecular & Behav Neurosci Inst In identifying genetic variants associated with Mendelian (e.g. Ataxia) and complex (e.g depression and addiction), often the variant in question is not protein coding. We have found, for example in 2010, that a 5’UTR variant increased mRNA expression 2-3 fold, resulting in deafness. We have published on miRNA expression differences possibly related to Bipolar disorder, and are involved in several projects, both related to ataxia and to addiction, in which we suspect that mRNA regulation plays a role.

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CharlesBurant
Medical SchoolInternal Medicine

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MarkBurns
EngineeringChemical EngineeringCurrently, I have some work in sensing RNA-containing pathogens (e.g., influenza), and I am considering expanding my work in this area.

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Laura Buttitta

LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyIn the Buttitta Lab we are studying how gene expression at the mRNA level changes when cells enter quiescent or non-dividing states. We are also interested in the transcription factors and chromatin remodelers that may be influenced by cell cycle regulators to mediate changes in mRNA when cells enter quiescence.

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Dawen Cai
Medical SchoolCell & Dev BiologySingle cell RNA profiling to identify neuronal stem/mature cell types and markers.

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Sally Ann Camper

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsInterested in single cell RNA sequencing for understanding cell differentiation in health and disease

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Maria Castro

Medical SchoolNeurosurgery Glioma genetic models are needed to uncover mechanisms which mediate tumor progression, interplay with the tumor microenvironment (TME) and response to therapeutics. We have generated the first genetically engineered immunocompetent mouse model of low grade glioma(LGG), harboring mIDH1 in combination with ATRX and p53 knock-down. We have generated primary neurospheres (NS) from LGG, which exhibit cancer stem-cell- like properties, and have enabled us to develop a transplantable model of LGG, amenable to testing novel therapies. NS are derived from C57BL/6 mice, thus, enabling examination of the immune TME and the impact of tumor mutations on the immune response. Our goals are to assess the effect of mIDH1 on mRNA-seq, and on global DNA and histone methylation. The mIDH1 model will also be used for chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) to identify promoter/enhancer region specific changes in histone methylation. We are collaborating with Dr. Mats Ljungman who pioneered bromouridine sequencing (BrU-seq), to identify and quantify nascent mRNA and gene transcription profiles. Uncovering epigenetic patterning of histone 3 hypermethylation and cytosine modifications using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies will contribute to the identification of novel pathways and gene regulatory networks which will provide novel insights into disease biology and uncover novel therapeutic targets.

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SriramChandrasekaran
EngineeringBiomedical Engineering

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MattChapman

LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyThe Chapman lab is interested in the production, turnover and processing of RNA during bacterial biofilm formation.

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GraceChen
Medical SchoolInt Med I am interested in how certain circulating non-coding small RNAs regulate colorectal cancer progression.

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Vivian Cheung
Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsWe study regulation of transcription; in particular, RNA-DNA sequence differences, RNA polymerase pausing and R-loop. We are interested in the mechanisms that underlie these processes, and how disruptions of these steps contribute to human neurologic disorders.

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ArulChinnaiyan

Medical SchoolPathologyDr. Chinnaiyan’s research is focused on functional genomic, proteomic and bioinformatics approaches to study cancer for the purposes of understanding cancer biology as well as to discover clinical biomarkers. His group has characterized a number of biomarkers of prostate cancer including AMACR, EZH2, hepsin and sarcosine. AMACR is being used clinically across the country in the assessment of cancer in prostate needle biopsies. The landmark study from Dr. Chinnaiyan’s lab thus far is the discovery of TMPRSS2-ETS gene fusions in prostate cancer. TMPRSS2-ETS gene fusions are specific markers of prostate cancer as well as presumably function as rational targets for this disease. This finding potentially redefines the molecular basis of prostate cancer as well as other common epithelial cancers. Currently efforts are underway to target this gene fusion as well as discover similar gene fusions in other common epithelial tumors such as those derived from the breast, lung, and colon.

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MichaelCianfrocco

Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryMotor protein dependent RNA localization & structural biology using cryo-electron microscopy

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Justin Colacino

Public HealthEnvironmental Health SciencesOur goal is to characterize the environmental susceptibility of normal human stem cell populations, elucidating the etiology of sporadic cancers. Of particular interest are understanding the changes that occur at the epigenomic and transcriptomic level, changes which affect not only gene expression but also how progenitor cells differentiate and divide.

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KathleenCollins
Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyWe study the ability of HIV to establish a persistent infection in long lived cells. We are interested in novel approaches to detect and eradicate these cells.

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AnalisaDiFeo
Medical SchoolPathologyMy laboratory investigates epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) biology at the interface between the bench and the clinic in order to generate findings that can directly benefit ovarian cancer patients. In order to accomplish this we focus on four major areas: 1) generation of clinically relevant EOC models, 2) development of novel or re-purposed drugs that can work alone or in conjunction with current treatment options to combat this deadly disease, 3) discovery of potent drivers of drug resistance and recurrence, and 4) identify novel biomarkers for early detection or therapeutic response. We have uncovered that microRNA-181a is frequently overexpressed in recurrent, platinum-resistant HGSOC tumors and correlates with shorter time to recurrence and poor overall survival. Functionally, we found that it can modulate several potent cancer-associated pathways such as TGF-β and Wnt signaling which in turn leads to the induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), drug resistance and increase tumor-initiating capacity. Most recently, we have developed a unique method to isolate primary tumor cells based miRNA function and identify drugs that regulate its expression using miRNA biosensors. Through these studies we uncovered that the miR-181a promoter contains a super enhancer which is targeted by Bromodomain inhibitors (BETi).

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DanaDolinoy
Public HealthEnvironmental Health SciencesOur research seeks to advance development of a suite of tools, based on PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) to transform precision environmental health and epigenome editing.

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GregoryDressler
Medical SchoolPathologyThe Dressler lab studies genes and pathways that regulate not only embryonic development and but also contribute to adult disease. Aspect currently being investigated by genetic and biochemical means are the structure and functions of long 5′ untranslated regions of specific mRNAs and how these complex regions impact translation and gene expression of key regulatory proteins.

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Monica Dus

LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyThe Dus lab is interesting in understanding how the environment reshapes brain and behavior. To this end we are studying how diet changes the physiology of the brain by altering metabolic-epigenetic pathways at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, and how this, in turn, affects behavior.

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JamesElder
Medical SchoolDermatologyWebsite
EricFearon
Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyThe Fearon laboratory’s interests include the role of non-coding RNAs regulated by key oncogene and tumor suppressor gene pathways in colorectal cancer development and in invasive and metastatic phenotypes. In addition, the Fearon laboratory is utilizing CRISPR-Cas9 approaches to generate novel genetically engineered mouse models of colorectal cancer as well as the role of collaborative somatic oncogene and tumor suppressor gene defects in tumor initiation and clonal evolution.

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EvaFeldman

Medical SchoolNeurology Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive degeneration of motor neurons that develops from a complex interaction of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. We are investigating the role of altered RNA and protein metabolism in ALS by focusing on mRNA stability, microRNA dysregulation, RNA exosomes, and microRNA/protein interactions in patient tissues and cellular models. Our study of RNA in ALS will help identify early diagnostic biomarkers and elucidate pathological mechanisms that could point to possible therapeutic targets.

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Claudia Figueroa-Romero
Medical SchoolNeurology I am interested in the complex molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression. My research focuses on understanding the role of microRNAs as regulators of RNA decay as a pathological mechanism in neurodegeneration, especially ALS.

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LydiaFreddolino
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryMeasurement of protein-RNA and RNA-RNA interactions driving microbial regulatory networks.

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SanthiGanesh
Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsThe Ganesh lab studies transcriptional responses to vascular injury and stress, and cellular intervention targets to ameliorate vascular diseases.

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GeorgeGarcia
PharmacyMedicinal ChemistryIn the past, we have studied post-transcriptional modification of tRNA. Currently we are pursuing RNA polymerase as a drug target for tuberculosis.

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AmandaGarner

PharmacyMedicinal ChemistryThe Garner Laboratory is developing novel high-throughput screening assays for the discovery of chemical probes for targeting microRNAs and microRNA-microRNA-binding protein interactions. In addition, we are engaged in the discovery of new microRNA-binding proteins using chemical biology and proteomic approaches.

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ScottGitlin
Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyRetroviruses; viral gene expression.

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ThomasGlover
Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsOur research focuses on the mechanisms and consequences of genome instability and on the molecular biology of human genetic disease. A longstanding interest is the study of chromosome damage following replication stress. This began with the study of chromosome fragile sites and has led to our current focus on copy number variants (CNVs).

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DanielGoldman
Medical SchoolNeuroscienceMolecular mechanisms underlying retina and optic nerve regeneration in fish and mammals. Regarding RNA, our research studies transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms contributing to regeneration, including microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs.

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Stephen Goutman
Medical SchoolNeurologyDr. Goutman completed his medical degree from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, and completed his neurology residency and a Fellowship in Neuromuscular Disease at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. His clinical and research interests focus on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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Yuanfang Guan

Medical SchoolComp Med & BioinformaticsLab Website
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JohannGudjonsson
Medical SchoolDermatology Gudjonsson’s lab focuses on analysis of coding and non-coding RNA transcription in cells and tissues, and addressing their role in normal and diseased state, with a particular focus on skin.

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GaryHammer

Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyDr. Hammer’s research focuses on the molecular underpinnings of adrenocortical growth in development and cancer. His laboratory’s goals are to characterize the adrenocortical stem/ progenitor cell population and elucidate how altered regulation of these cells contributes to adrenocortical disease, namely hypoplasias, dysplasias and cancer.

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SueHammoud

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsSingle Cell RNAseq

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MichelleHastings

Medical SchoolPharmacologyResearch focuses on understanding genetic basis of disease and discovering new therapeutics that modulate the process of pre-mRNA splicing to alter gene expression.


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Alfred Hero
EngineeringCOE EECS – ECE DivisionThe Hero lab works on translational research that develops algorithms and models for personalized precision medicine that combine data from very different platforms for predicting disease outcomes and contagiousness. Data that we are working with include synchronized genomic modalities such as HiC, RNAseq and ChipSeq, imaging data including FISH and fMRI.

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GerryHiggins
Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsMy current research focuses on the regulation of gene expression and the pharmaco-epigenome (e.g. noncoding regulatory variants and elements). My published research has included studies of the mechanisms of alternative splicing of CNS genes. I also teach in the RNA-Seq course (BIoINF 545; BIOSTAT 646)

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ZhonggangHou
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryNew CRISPR tools for RNA guided genome engineering

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LoriIsom

Medical SchoolPharmacologyWe are developing antisense oligonucleotide therapeutic agents to treat developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

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Shigeki Iwase

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsOur group studies histone methylation-mediated mechanisms underlying mRNA production, i.e. transcription, in the brain. Given that many histone methyl regulators are mutated in cognitive disorders, our research may yield important insights into how histone methylation is involved in normal and pathological brain development and function.

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MatthewIyer
Medical SchoolPathology & SurgeryI am an early-stage surgeon scientist at the University of Michigan dedicated to improving cancer care through the innovation of RNA liquid biopsy assays. My career vision arose from predoctoral and postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D. (2009-2016), where I developed RNA-Seq analysis methods to investigate the uncharted regions of the human genome, discovering a multitude of new genes and isoforms with potential applications in cancer characterization. Through this work, I saw opportunities to 1) further expand our knowledge of the cancer transcriptome by integrating extensive molecular data, and 2) translate this new knowledge into improving molecular diagnostic assays. I then devoted myself to surgical residency and fellowship training (2016-2023), becoming proficient in the care of cancer patients and their families. My current research at the University of Michigan aims to improve bioinformatics methods for analyzing bulk, single-cell, and spatial transcriptomic data as well as conduct clinical studies of novel molecular sequencing assays that could inform cancer care.

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UrsulaJakob
LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyLab Website
Paul Jenkins

Medical SchoolPharmacologyThe Jenkins’s lab is interested in the splicing of neuronal genes and how dysregulation of this process underlies neuropsychiatric disorders.

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Hui Jiang
Public HealthBiostatistics My research interest is in developing statistical and computational methods to analyze RNA-Seq data for the quantification of gene and isoform expression and the detection of differentially expressed or spliced genes.

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Catherine Kaczorowski

Medical SchoolNeurologyTargeting mRNA for treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

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Sundeep Kalantry

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsOur research aims to define how epigenetic regulation occurs in mammals. We use X-chromosome inactivation, which results in transcriptional silencing of most genes along one of the two X-chromosomes in female mammals, to gain insights into epigenetic processes, including through chromatin modifications and long-non coding RNAs.

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Hyun Min Kang
Public HealthBiostatistics Website
SarahKargbo-Hill
LSAMolecular, Cellular and Developmental BiologyMy research focuses on defects in RNA metabolism that occur in neurodegenerative disease. In particular, I focus on the RNA-binding protein TDP-43, which is associated with neurodegenerative disorders including ALS, FTD, and Alzheimer’s disease. I am interested in the role of TDP-43 as a regulator of cryptic splicing, both in understand how these events are regulated in different cells types the consequences of cryptic splicing events on downstream pathways in neurons. I use human iPSC-derived neurons to examine these questions in a human neuron genetic background.

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Sarah Keane

LSABiophysicsStructure and mechanism on noncoding RNAs

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EvanKeller
Medical SchoolUrology Explore single cell transcriptomes through single cell RNASeq. Primarily focused on cancer.

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TomKerppola
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryLab Website
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Jeffrey Kidd

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsWe study determinants of viral latency and reactivation as well as the contribution retrotransposons to disease, phenotypic diversity, and genome evolution.

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AnthonyKing
Medical SchoolPsychiatryGene expression in humans with PTSD

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Jacob Kitzman

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsThe Kitzman lab develops new experimental and computational approaches to dissect the functional impacts of genetic variants. We are applying these to several clinically-relevant genes and non-coding elements, with the goal of comprehensively measuring the effects of all possible variants at each locus, from their transcription and splicing to the activity of the resulting encoded RNAs and proteins.

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MarkosKoutmos
LSAChemistryRNA processing, RNA modifications

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Kristin Koutmou

LSAChemistryThe Koutmou lab studies the essential molecular machine responsible for translating the nucleic acid code into protein, the ribosome. We use a combination of in vitro biochemistry (eg. reconstituted translation system) and genome wide tools (eg. ribosome profiling) to investigate the molecular level details of situations in which translation is dysfunctional.

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Matthias Kretzler
Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyLab Website
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Chandan Kumar-Sinha
Medical SchoolPathology Website
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SteveKunkel
Medical SchoolPathologyResearch directed at understanding the expression and regulation of inflammatory mediators and their subsequent biological activities represents major investigative directions of my laboratory. A general theme of the laboratory is an assessment of the mechanistic involvement of cytokine and chemokine cascades that direct the initiation and maintenance of the immune response.

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Kenneth Kwan

Medical SchoolMolecular & Behavioral Neurosi InstTrafficking and local translation in neurons

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JoergLahann

EngineeringChemical EngineeringAt Lahann lab, we are dedicated to addressing the critical challenges in the field of biotechnology and drug/gene delivery as well as advancing the current knowledge in chemical vapor deposition for engineered surfaces. We are an interdisciplinary research group developing novel and exciting technologies.

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Adam Lauring

Medical SchoolMicrobiology & ImmunologyAdam Lauring’s laboratory studies the population genetics and evolutionary dynamics of RNA viruses, which replicate with extremely low fidelity. Core projects include understanding the molecular determinants of RNA virus mutation rates and the impact of mutations on viral fitness.

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Cheng-YuLee
Medical SchoolCell & Dev BiologyWe study the mechanisms of neural stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, which have implications for neurological disorders and cancer. Interested in RNA decay and translational control.

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Jun HeeLee
Medical SchoolMolecular & Integrative Physiology My research indeed focuses on RNA metabolism, stress granules, and single cell/spatial transcriptomics.

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JiaheLi

EngineeringBiomedical EngineeringWe address the knowledge gap in understanding the roles played by host-derived extracellular sRNAs in host-microbiota interactions. There is a lack of enabling methodologies to unlock the functions of host sRNAs largely due to three limitations. First, native sRNAs are highly susceptible to degradation. Second, it is difficult to distinguish the origins of short sRNA fragments between host and bacteria. Third, host sRNAs are present inside bacteria at very low levels. Our long-term goal is to achieve in-depth understanding of host-derived sRNAs as a new class of defense molecules targeting opportunistic pathogens, and, furthermore, to repurpose host sRNAs as potential antimicrobial agents.
Jun Li
Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsMy group has a long-standing interest in classification and unsupervised class discovery, especially for high-dimensional genomics data. I am co-directing the proposed Michigan Center for Single-Cell Genomic Data Analytics, focusing on single-cell RNAseq data and currently including studies of cancer evolution, organ development, gene-environment interaction, and regulation of RNA splicing.

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Yongqing Li
Medical SchoolSurgeryWebsite
Jiandie Lin
Medical SchoolCell & Dev BiologyMy group studies how long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulate metabolic gene programs in adipose tissues and the liver. We are interested in dissecting the role of lncRNAs in the control of energy metabolism in physiological and disease states.

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JieLiu
Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsMachine learning, chromatin organization, alternative splicing
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MatsLjungman
Medical SchoolRadiation OncologyMy lab is studying mechanisms of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in normal physiology and in diseases such as cancer and ALS. We have developed nascent RNA Bru-seq that we are happy to help other labs use.

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Pedro Lowenstein
Medical SchoolNeurosurgery Glioma stem cells exist in two states: as stem cells proper, and as brain tumor cells. We are currently working to understand the molecular underpinnings of state change in glioma tumors stem cells. This involves many studies that use RNA-seq, Bru-seq (with Mats Ljungman), and Linc-seq. Studies on self-organization in brain tumors and mechanisms of tumor growth (both in rodents and in humans), and the response of glioma tumors to immune attack, also require for us to study the dynamics of RNA.

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AndrewLudlow
KinesiologyKinesiologyBroadly, my laboratory studies telomere and telomerase biology. We are interested in the gene expression regulation of telomere maintaining genes, such as telomerase component hTERT. We focus on the gene expression regulation by alternative RNA splicing by studying deep intronic elements and the RNA binding proteins that bind these elements in diverse tissues and contexts such as in lung cancer and in cells/tissues following interventions (exercise, diet, and chemotherapy).

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Carey Lumeng
Medical SchoolPediatricsAdipose tissue gene expression and single cell approaches.

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RahulMannan

Medical SchoolPathologyBiomarker Discovery in Cancer

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Anna Mapp

LSAChemistryLab Website
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DavidMarkovitz
Medical SchoolInt Med Infectious DiseasesThe Markovitz laboratory studies the genetics of human centromeres, a last frontier in genomics. As part of this effort, the group investigates the RNA transcripts that arise from individual centromeres.

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HayleyMcLoughlin
Medical SchoolNeurology

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MiriamMeisler
Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsWe are working on alternative splicing of sodium channel gene transcripts.

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DanielaMendonca
DentistryBiologic & Mat Science miRNA involved in cancer

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GustavoMendonca
DentistryBiologic & Mat Science Effect of nano-topography on mesenchymal stem cells and differentiation into osteoblasts and the molecular basis of dental implants osseointegration. Use of RNA-Seq for identification of expressed mRNAs and miRNAs during bone healing.

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Rajasree Menon

Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsAlternative splice isoforms; Single cell RNA

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Ryan Mills

Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsOur laboratory develops methods for analyzing RNA sequence data, with a focus on quantifying and assessing rates of translation using ribosome footprinting techniques. We are also actively studying novel mechanisms of translational regulation at the transcriptional level.

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JohnMoldovan
Medical School Human GeneticsWebsite
StephanieMoon

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsOur group is interested in how genes are expressed via the coordinated regulation of messenger RNAs at the levels of translation, localization, and decay. We study mRNA regulation in the context of human disease and stress, with a particular interest in neurological disorders. Our research aims to reveal the underlying principles and mechanisms governing mRNA in both health and disease to elucidate new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies.

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JohnMoran
Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsThe goal of our laboratory is to understand how an abundant class of “jumping genes,” known as LINE-1 retrotransposons, impacts the structure and function of human genomes. We use molecular biological, biochemical, modern genomic, and computational approaches to address the following questions: 1) What is the molecular mechanism of LINE-1 retrotransposition? 2) How do LINE-1 retrotransposition events impact the human genome? 3) Which cellular factors promote or restrict LINE-1 retrotransposition? 4) How does LINE-1 retrotransposition contribute to intra- and inter-individual genetic variation?

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BenjaminMurdock
Medical SchoolNeurologyWebsite
DeepakNagrath

EngineeringBiomedical EngineeringWe are very interested in understanding functional effects of exosomal cargo in tumor microenvironment. In our recent work published in eLife, we uncovered the metabolic role of exosomes secreted by tumor microenvironment in cancer metabolism.

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Sunitha Nagrath

EngineeringChemical EngineeringWe are developing microfluidic devices for isolating and studying circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as related to metastasis, the cause of over 90% of cancer related deaths.

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Jayakrishnan (JK)Nandakumar

LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyWe are interested in the biogenesis, trafficking, recruitment to telomeres, and catalytic mechanism of the RNP enzyme telomerase. We are also investigating other noncoding RNAs that are involved in gene regulation.

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Nouri Neamati
PharmacyMedicinal ChemistryThe major focus of our research is to combine chemoinformatics and bioinformatics technologies to better elucidate the mechanisms of action of novel anticancer drugs developed in our laboratory.

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AlexeyNesvizhskii
Medical SchoolComputation Medicine & Bioinformatics

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RachelNiederer
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryTranslation control of gene expressions plays an essential role during development, response to stress and a wide range of cellular processes. However, the key mRNA features that distinguish efficiently translated from poorly translated mRNAs remain largely unknown. Our lab utilizes a combination of high throughout experimental methods, biochemistry and molecular biology to both discover translational control elements and characterize novel regulatory mechanisms impacting gen expression.

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ErikNielsen
LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

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RoomiNusrat
Medical SchoolInternal MedicineWebsite
MelanieOhi

Medical SchoolCell & Dev BiologyLab Website
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GilbertOmenn

Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsMy RNA-related research is focused on differential expression of splice transcripts and proteins in proteogenomic studies of cancers, including a special emphasis on ERBB2+ breast cancers. Splicing is a remarkable phenomenon of the evolution of multicellular organisms with multi-exonic genes, making standard reports of up-regulation and down-regulation of “genes” a crude summary of a mixture of functionally-differentiated products of individual genes. Specific isoforms may be better biomarker candidates and therapeutic targets.

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Akira Ono
Medical SchoolMicrobiology and ImmunologyWe are interested in the roles and/or behaviors of viral RNAs and cellular RNAs during virus particle assembly of HIV-1 and influenza A virus. Specific topics we are currently studying are 1) tRNA-mediated regulation of HIV-1 Gag membrane binding, 2) effects of RNA-mediated Gag multimerization on Gag localization, and 3) delivery of viral RNA segments to the site of influenza virus assembly.

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EdgarOtto
Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyWe apply high-throughput droplet-based single cell RNA-Seq microfluidic technology (Drop-Seq) to analyze kidney cells derived from healthy or diseased kidney samples. This project may help to identify new cell type specific biomarkers for diagnostics, disease progression, or for potential therapeutic interference.

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Bruce Allan Palfey
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryWebsite
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StephenParker
Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsIntegration of genome, epigenome, and transcriptome (mRNA, eRNA) data across tissues and species to identify mechanisms underlying T2D GWAS SNPs.

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AbhijitParolia
Medical SchoolPathologyWebsite
HenryPaulson

Medical SchoolNeurologyOur lab explores the reasons why the aging brain degenerates in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia and polyglutamine expansion disorders such as Huntington disease and Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3 (SCA3). We pursue basic studies of disease mechanisms and translational studies that are leading toward therapies for these fatal diseases.

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Bambarendage (Pini)Perera
Public HealthEnvironmental Health SciencesMy primary research interests lie in the field of epigenetics, specifically in the role of environmental exposures at critical time points in life, which influence late-onset disease outcomes via epigenetic mechanisms, including aberrant DNA methylation, genomic imprinting, and small non-coding RNA (piRNA).

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AlexandraPiotrowski-Daspit

Michigan MedicineBiomedical Engineering & Internal MedicineMy laboratory develops polymeric biomaterials for therapeutic nucleic acid delivery, including a variety of RNA biomolecules. Please find more information on our website.

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SethuPitchiaya

Medical SchoolUrologyInterested in investigating the potential of combining anti-lncRNA therapy with existing treatment options to identify effective combinatorial treatment strategies and to further understand the global impact of ARlnc1 in prostate cancer.

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JohnPrensner

Medical SchoolPediatricsThe Prensner lab is interested in cancer genomics, gene regulation, gene discovery, and RNA translation. Using cancer models, we study the translation of non-canonical open reading frames as both a mechanism of gene regulation as well as protein-coding functional units. We are interested in how cancer oncogenes alter RNA translational fidelity and regulation. We evaluate potential therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer based on aberrant RNA translation. We work within the Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center and have a particular focus on childhood brain cancers.

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Jay BritoQuerido
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryThe role of RNA helicases in the regulation of mRNA translation.

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Indika Rajapakse
Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsThe work in our lab is at the interface between mathematics and human genome biology. In particular, we study the dynamics of genome organization in human cells. From these data, our goal is to understand genome reprogrammability (=controllability).

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RajeshRao
Medical SchoolOphthalmology & Visual ScienceWe undertake studies related the m6a RNA methylation in retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, as well as those related to stem cell biology and retinal development. We are focused on cross-talk of the epigenome with epitranscriptomic regulators.
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DianeRobins
Medical SchoolHuman GeneticsWe study the role of androgen receptor in prostate cancer, using approaches such as RNA-seq in mouse and cell models to profile differential gene expression and alternative regulatory networks in disease progression and response to therapy. In a second project, we study the role of KRAB zinc finger proteins in epigenetic control of sex-specific gene expression, particularly as it impacts metabolism, in order to gain insight on the evolution of the recently expanded huge KRAB-ZFP gene family.

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AnthonyRosenzweig

Medical SchoolInternal MedicineWe are interested in noncoding RNAs as drivers and potential therapeutic targets in heart failure, and their role in mediating the protective effects of exercise.

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Brandon Ruotolo
LSAChemistryLab Website

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RussellRyan

Medical SchoolPathologyI study distal enhancer regulation in cancer. I’m interested in learning more about the role of noncoding RNAs in enhancer function.

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Maureen Sartor

Medical SchoolComp Med and BioinformaticsMy lab has developed methods for the interpretation of high-throughput gene expression (e.g. RNA-seq) data in terms of pathways and processes, and we are experts in interpreting the results of such experiments with complex designs. We also study RNA in relation to HPV-related head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, and HPV-host fusion transcripts.

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Laura Scott
Public HealthBiostatistics Analysis of RNA-Seq on 300 muscle and adipose tissue samples from Finnish individuals.

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AudreySeasholtz
Medical SchoolMolecular & Behav Neurosc InstStudies in the Seasholtz laboratory focus on the stress system and its links to anxiety, depression and addiction. We study the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of the neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and its receptors and binding protein in the brain and pituitary.

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Jiaqi Shi

Medical SchoolPathologyOur lab is interested in studying how epigenetic alterations in pancreatic cancer affect transcription and how this effect contributes to pancreatic cancer development.

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Lyle Simmons

LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyWe study the formation and resolution of RNA:DNA hybrids. We are interested in how the cell removes ribonucleotide misincorporation events and in understanding how persistent R-loops affect genome integrity.

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GeoffreySiwo
Medical SchoolInternal MedicineUnderstanding the origins of genetically coded proteins using AI/ Natural Language Processing
CRISPR/Cas systems engineering
Small molecule modulation of RNA/ nucleic acid sensing pathways.

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JanetSmith
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryWe use structural biology to study RNA viruses, including the positive-sense RNA flaviviruses (dengue, Zika, West Nile) and the HIV-1 retrovirus. We have also investigated RNA-protein interactions in Rift Valley fever virus, a negative-sense bunyavirus.

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Cristiane Squarize
DentistryPeriodontics & Oral Med Lab Website
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JeanneStuckey
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryJeanne Stuckey is a member of the crystallography core of the Center for HIV RNA Studies (CRNA). She is involved in the structure determination of RNA-protein complexes important in HIV replication.

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Michael Mark Alexander Sutton
Medical SchoolMolecular & Behav Neurosci Inst The remarkable information processing capacity of neurons in the mammalian brain stems from the intricate organization of their synaptic connections and the ability of these synapses to change with experience. In brain areas such as the hippocampus, the ability of principal neurons to accommodate dense networks of synaptic connectivity is critical for higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory. Our group is interested in the molecular mechanisms that control the development, maintenance and plasticity of these synapses, and in particular, how the compartmentalization of these processes in dendrites can service the unique demands of different synaptic sites impinging on the same neuron. Our research uses a combination of electrophysiology, biochemistry, and molecular approaches in conjunction with high-resolution imaging in living neurons to study these questions.

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AndrewTai

Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyThe major interest of our laboratory is to identify and characterize cellular factors that support infection by RNA viruses, chiefly hepatitis C and dengue viruses. Defining these host factors may lead to targets for broadly acting antiviral agents with high genetic barriers for resistance.

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Alice Telesnitsky

Medical SchoolMicrobiology and ImmunologyThe Telesnitsky lab is a virology lab that studies the genomic RNA of retroviruses. We collaborate with biophysicists to understand how alternate RNA structures define fates, and perform molecular genetics of retroviral RNA trafficking and replication roles.

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Muneesh Tewari

Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyThe Tewari lab studies extracellular RNA, including microRNA, long noncoding RNA and other RNA classes that are released by cells upon cell turnover or via active release (eg extracellular vesicles). We are interested in new technologies for studying extracellular RNA (eg advanced next gen sequencing and computational approaches) and are investigating extracellular RNAs in blood as non-invasive biomarkers for cancer and other diseases.

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Peter Todd

Medical SchoolNeurology Our lab studies how nucleotide repeat expansions lead to neurological disease with an aim of developing novel treatments based on mechanistic insights. Specifically, we study how repeats as RNA bind to proteins and prevent them from performing their normal functions. We also study how repeats support translation of toxic proteins in the absence of an AUG start codon through a process known as RAN translation.

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PeterToogood
PharmacyMedicinal Chemistry

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RaymondTrievel
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryOur laboratory studies the structures and functions of enzymes that regulate mRNA stability to govern gene expression and cellular metabolism.

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NatalieTronson

LSAPsychologyMy research focuses on the molecular mechanisms – including transcription and translation – underlying memory storage, and the modulation of memory by stress and illness..

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Lam C. (Alex) Tsoi

Medical SchoolDermatologyDr. Tsoi has strong interests in investigating the pathology and genetic architecture of complex cutaneous disorders using systems biology approaches. Working with Drs. James T. Elder and Johann E Gudjonsson, Dr. Tsoi’s research aims to develop analysis pipelines and computational approaches to provide biological inferences from genetics and genomics data. His work in genetic association studies revealed over 30 novel psoriasis susceptibility regions, and highlighted different disease pathways. He also led the analysis and developed computational pipeline to study psoriasis transcriptomes, and his work uncovered over 1,000 novel transcripts in skin.

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DavidTurner
Medical SchoolMolecular & Behav Neurosci InstThe Turner lab studies microRNAs, gene regulation, and cell identity during development of the mammalian nervous system. We use the mouse retina as a model system and apply sequencing methods (small RNA-seq, PAR-CLIP, RNA-seq, m6A-seq), as well as CRISPR/Cas9, RNAi, and other functional methods to study or modify gene expression in differentiating neurons.

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MichaelUhler
Medical SchoolMolecular & Behav Neurosci Inst The Uhler laboratory studies the role of protein phosphorylation in the nervous system. Historically, the research has focused on the cAMP-dependent (PKA) and cGMP-dependent (PKG) protein kinases. These kinases phosphorylate a large number of neuronal substrates including receptors , ion channels and transcription factors to regulate the function of these proteins. During the characterization of transcriptional regulation by PKA and PKG, our laboratory developed the Surface Transfection and Expression Protocol (STEP) method for solid phase transfection and we have used it to identify novel regulatory sequences. More recently, we have collaborated with the Turner laboratory to develop lines of P19 embryonic carcinoma cells which undergo neuronal differentiation after induction of neurogenic bHLH proteins such as Ascl1. We are currently using these cell lines to characterize the role of PKA phosphorylation during neuronal differentiation.

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Sarah Veatch
LSABiophysics Michigan Research Experts Profile
JohnVoorhees
Medical SchoolDermatology Dr. Voorhees’ research focuses on psoriasis and premature aging of the skin. The demonstration of psoriasis as a disease mediated by an overactive immune system, treatable by immunosuppressive drugs, has been his major accomplishment in the study of psoriasis. In sun-induced premature skin-aging and in natural aging, he and his colleagues have unraveled mechanisms whereby UV light and the passage of time destroy the skin’s collagen support. This understanding has provided insight into its treatment and prevention by pharmacologic agents.

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NilsWalter

LSAChemistryThe Walter lab studies both non-coding and protein-coding RNAs, and how the former control the gene expression of the latter, using tools from biophysics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology and chemical biology. Most prominently, we use leading-edge single molecule and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and single molecule FRET approaches to probe the diverse functional mechanisms of transcriptional and translational riboswitches, the spliceosome, the RNA silencing and RNA interference machinery, ribozymes, as well as devices from DNA nanotechnology, in vitro and in live cells.

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StanleyWatson
Medical SchoolPsychiatryWebsite
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ChaseWeidmann
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryWe leverage sequencing technologies to characterize RNA-protein interaction networks in biology and human disease, with a focus on long noncoding RNAs that drive cancer metastasis. Our vision is to develop novel therapeutic strategies that target the RNA-protein interface.

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Xiaoquan (William)Wen
Public HealthBiostatistics

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MaxWicha
Medical SchoolInt Med NephrologyThe Wicha lab has been a leader in the field of cancer stem cells(CSC’s). They provides the initial description of CSC in a solid tumor are elucidating pathways which regulate these cells. This includes the study of Ln RNA’s as well as transcriptional regulators. They are also investigating epigenetic regulation of CSC and the role of chromatin structure in the regulation of the CSC transcriptome.

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Andrzej Wierzbicki
LSAMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyWe study how non-coding RNA regulates genome activity in eukaryotes using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system. We are particularly interested in mechanisms used by long non-coding RNA to establish repressive chromatin modifications.

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KristaWigginton
EngineeringCivil & Environmental EngineeringOur lab works on developing applications of biotechnology in drinking water and wastewater treatment with a focus on detecting and analyzing emerging pathogens (including RNA viruses) and their nucleic acids. We specialize in RNA detection and quantification, RNA photolysis and oxidation, and RNA environmental fate and reactivity.

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RyanWilcox
Medical SchoolInternal MedicineWe have shown that GATA-3 is a proto-oncogene in T-cell lymphomas. GATA-3, among other things, regulates rRNA expression. Other novel targets currently under evaluation in the lab (e.g. CDK9) likely regulate key target genes in an RNA-dependent manner (e.g. R-loop formation at rDNA intergenic sites).
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ThomasWilson
Medical SchoolPathologyRNA-related research in the Wilson lab centers on two main areas: (1) the mechanisms by which replication-transcription conflicts impact DNA repair and genomic instability, especially copy number variants, and (2) participation with Dr. Ljungman in application of nascent RNA sequencing (Bru-seq).

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Patricia (Trisha)Wittkopp

LSAEcology and Evolutionary Biology; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyWe study the genetic mechanisms controlling RNA production and how they vary within and between species.

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ConnieWu

EngineeringBiomedical EngineeringOur lab works at the interface of biology, bioanalytical chemistry, and materials and biomolecular engineering to develop technologies that can address diagnostic and therapeutic challenges related to human health. Our long-term translational goals are to accelerate biomarker signature discovery for applications in cancer and to engineer multifunctional RNA therapeutics and rationally designed nanomaterials.

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BingYe
Medical SchoolCell & Dev BiologymRNA processing, translation, and RNA-binding proteins in neuronal development. We study post-transcriptional controls and RNA-binding proteins in the development of dendrites and axons

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Chengxin Zhang

Medical SchoolComputational Medicine & BioinformaticsRNA structure and function prediction. The principal goal of our research is to reveal the fundamental relationship between protein sequence, structure and function

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Jianzhi (George)Zhang
LSAEcology and Evolutionary Biology
RNA modification, RNA folding, translation

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Jifeng Zhang
Medical SchoolUMH Internal Med-Cardiovascular Michigan Research Experts Profile
YanZhang
Medical SchoolBiological ChemistryResearch interests include CRISPR, Cas9, NmeCas9, CRISPR-Cas3 system.

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YueZhao
Medical SchoolComp Med & Bioinformatics

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XiangZhou
Public HealthBiostatistics

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Guizhi (Julian)Zhu

Medical SchoolPharmaceutical SciencesWith the overarching goal to develop novel and clinically translatable nucleic acid immunotherapeutics and vaccines, Zhu Lab’s research interest lies at the interface of RNA/DNA/protein chemistry and engineering, immunology, and applied chemistry and biomaterials. Our current focus is to develop circRNA/mRNA/oligonucleotide immunotherapeutics/vaccines and their delivery systems for the prophylaxis or immunotherapy of cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmune disorders.

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