RNA Featured Researcher – Ahmed Malik, Ph.D., Neuroscience Graduate Program and Neurology

Ahmed Malik, Ph.D. MSTP fellow Neuroscience Graduate Program and Department of Neurology Medical School Faculty-Mentor: Sami Barmada, M.D., Ph.D. Barmada Lab Google Scholar READ HIS STORY My dissertation work focused on the DNA- and RNA-binding protein Matrin 3. Mutations in this protein cause inherited neurodegenerative and muscular disease, and Matrin 3 pathology is also seen…

Connecting neuronal activity to RNA and bench to bedside

A Ph.D. dissertation is a huge accomplishment, resulting from four, five or more years of intense research and training. To become a Ph.D. is a remarkable challenge both scientifically and intellectually that requires a deep personal and emotional commitment. A doctoral defense is not only the culmination of years of hard work, but it also…

Over 550 RNA fans attend our 5th Annual Symposium, March 25-26, 2021

With over 550 participants, this two-day symposium virtually gathered the vibrant RNA research community from the University of Michigan (U-M), the US, and around the world. The symposium opened with remarks by Nils Walter, co-director of the U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine, who reminded the attendees of the importance of RNA research for society, as…

Featured Researcher – Michelle Paulsen, Radiation Oncology

Michelle Paulsen Research Laboratory Specialist Intermediate Bru-Seq Lab – Mats Ljungman Lab (Center for RNA Biomedicine core facility) Radiation Oncology, Medical School Website What is the role of RNA in your research? In the Ljungman Lab, RNA features predominantly as we developed the Bru-seq suite of techniques almost 20 years ago.  Bru-seq is a next…

Featured Researcher – Arushi Varshney, Ph.D., Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics

Arushi Varshney, Ph.D. Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics Medical School Faculty-Mentor: Stephen C. J. Parker Google scholar LinkedIn  Twitter Through my research, I aim to better understand how predisposition to complex metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) is encoded in our DNA. I employ computational and statistical approaches to analyze large high-throughput data sets…

RNA Featured Researcher – Becky Glineburg, Neurology

    Becky Glineburg, Ph.D. Postdoctorate Neurology, Medical School Faculty-Mentor: Peter Todd, M.D., Ph.D. Google Scholar I’m fascinated with how nucleic acid structure dictates various molecular pathways and mechanisms. Currently I’m investigating how GC-rich RNA repeat expansions promote an aberrant form of translation (RAN translation) and how this process contributes to neurodegenerative disease. I am…

How the time was just right for developing a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

Over 1,450 people attended our webinar with Melissa Moore, Chief Scientific Officer at Moderna Therapeutics, on March 3rd, 2021. In her presentation, Dr. Moore explained how the mRNA vaccine works, and how it was developed in record time of just 45 days. To put an end to this pandemic, she strongly encouraged the audience to…

Featured Researcher – Megan Trotter, Ph.D. Candidate

Megan Trotter, Ph.D. Candidate Human Genetics,Medical School Faculty-Mentor – Dr. Sundeep Kalantry LinkedIn Kalantry’s Lab   What are your research interests? I study epigenetic factors that influence X-chromosome inactivation. X-inactivation takes place in female mammals to equalize X-linked gene expression to that of males. However, even in cells that have undergone X-inactivation, there is still…

A scientist who “shrunk” down to explore a cell

Karen Montoya is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Nils Walter’s lab (Department of Chemistry, College of LSA) where she is studying state-of-the-art single molecule spectroscopy and imaging. Montoya’s interests in biosciences were sparked in part by “Osmosis Jones,” an animated action comedy about one white blood cell’s race against the biological clock to hunt…

Brenda Bass, Ph.D. – Keynote speaker, 2021 RNA Symposium

  KEYNOTE SPEAKER 5: March 26, 2021, 11:05–12:00 pm More information on the Symposium Blog by MiSciWriters “Distinguishing self and non-self dsRNA in vertebrates and invertebrates” Brenda Bass, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry University of Utah The Brenda Bass Lab Twitter: @BassLabUtah TALK ABSTRACT When a virus infects an animal cell, including a human cell,…

Tracy Johnson, Ph.D. – Keynote speaker, 2021 RNA Symposium

KEYNOTE SPEAKER 1: March 25, 2021, 11:05–12:00 pm More information on the Symposium Blog by MiSciWriters “RNA Splicing, Chromatin Modification, and the Coordinated Control of Gene expression” Tracy Johnson, Ph.D., University of California – Los Angeles Keith and Cecilia Terasaki Endowed Chair in the Life Sciences Professor of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Howard Hughes…

RNA Featured Researcher – Karen Montoya, Ph.D. Candidate, Chemistry

  Karen Montoya, Ph.D. Candidate Chemistry, College of LSA Faculty: Nils G. Walter LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/karen-montoyaa I am interested in chemistry at the interface with biology and medicine. I have always had an interest in understanding the pathology of a disease. Through my research, I am working on a diagnostic tool that detects microRNA (miRNAs) molecular…

Christopher Lima, Ph.D. – Keynote speaker, 2021 RNA Symposium

  KEYNOTE SPEAKER 5: March 26, 2021, 12:10–1:05 pm More information on the Symposium Blog by MiSciWriters “Mechanisms that target RNA for destruction” Christopher D. Lima, Ph.D. Alfred P. Sloan Chair; Chair and Member and Professor, Structural Biology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute The Christopher Lima Lab TALK ABSTRACT Decay and…

Feng Zhang, Ph.D. – Keynote speaker, 2021 RNA Symposium

KEYNOTE SPEAKER 3: March 25, 2021, 1:35–2:30 pm More information on the Symposium Blog by MiSciWriters “Exploration of Biological Diversity to Discover Novel Molecular Technologies” Feng Zhang, Ph.D. James and Patricia Poitras Professor of Neuroscience at MIT, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biological Engineering at MIT Core Member, Broad…

Kevin Weeks, Ph.D. – Keynote speaker, 2021 RNA Symposium

KEYNOTE SPEAKER 2: March 25, 2021, 12:10–1:05 pm More information on the Symposium Blog by MiSciWriters “Structure-based discovery of new functions in large RNAs” Kevin Weeks, Ph.D. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Chemistry, University of North Carolina The Kevin Weeks Lab TALK ABSTRACT The functions of many RNA molecules – including mRNAs, long non-coding RNAs,…

RNA Featured Researcher – Ameya Jalihal, Chemistry

    Ameya Jalihal, Ph.D. (alumnus, graduated in December 2020) Chemistry, College of LSA Faculty: Nils G. Walter Dissertation Defense, Thursday, December 10, 2020 “To find and to form: Strategies for intracellular molecular target search and higher-order assembly” Ameya Jalihal, advisor: Nils G. Walter Google Scholar LinkedIn What are your research interests? I’m interested in how…

“Zooming in to zoom out: learning from molecules to understand life”

Photo: Jalihal describing his research based on live cell single particle tracking. Growing up in Chennai, in South India, Ameya Jalihal, Ph.D., has always loved going on nature walks, watching birds, and collecting insects and seashells. While observing nature and biodiversity, young Jalihal had many questions that fueled his passion for life sciences. Inspired by…