We are an RNA lab involved in studying RNA/Protein interactions as well as RNA/Au interactions.
We have two major goals.
1) Understanding splicing of RNA.
A) One aspect is to study various proteins involved in the splicing of the 5' or 3'end of introns and looking at the mechanisms involved in binding and recognition. We use footprinting, GST-pulldowns, binding gels, in vitro and in vivo splicing, northerns, westerns and x-ray crystallography in order to achieve our goals.
B) Another aspect is to study particular proteins involved in disease associated with alternative splicing. In particular we study MBNL that is involved in myotonic dystrophy. We also study particular genetic sequences believed to be involved in alternative or disease related splicing. As a side project we are investigating competitive binders to CUG repeats to block MBNL from binding.
C) A third aspect is that we do computational analysis of entire genomes of particular species looking for conservation of sequence elements within introns associated with both constitutive and alternative splicing. Information from these analyses can be used to study both in vivo and in vitro effects of these splicing elements.
A) We have teamed up with a material sciences group here at the University of Oregon to study the production of specificially shaped and sized gold nanoparticles using RNA as the reaction driver/director.