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Tariq Rana, Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
RNA Regulation of Development and Disease
We study regulation of cellular processes by RNA during creation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), in stem cell differentiation and fate decisions, and in various disease states. Our laboratory develops and employs innovative multidisciplinary approaches to understand RNA-mediated gene silencing and host-pathogen interactions. In addition to biochemical, molecular and cell biology methods, these approaches include high-throughput gene silencing and sequencing, comparative and quantitative proteomics, bioinformatics, small molecule screening, and tissue-specific RNAi in animals.
Here are some examples of ongoing studies in the laboratory: (1) What are the epigenetic mechanisms and networks that regulate generation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells? (2) What are the barrier pathways in pluripotent stem cell generation? (3) What roles do the RNAi machinery and large non-coding RNAs play in the reprogramming process to create various types of stem cells? (4) How do RNA and ribonucleoprotein complexes modulate innate immunity, viral replication, and host-pathogen interactions? (5) How can we design and develop small molecules to probe and perturb diverse regulatory networks? By answering these questions, we will uncover fundamental principles that govern RNA regulation in human development and in disease pathophysiology. The knowledge and technologies created by these studies would provide new opportunities in clinical translational medicine by developing small molecule and RNA-based therapeutics. Current medical and disease models under investigation in the laboratory and with collaborators include regenerative medicine, AIDS, immune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
Molecular Cell Biology
BioMedical Sciences Focus Areas
Structural Chemical Biology