Epigenetics and RNA Biology Program

We focus on discovering and understanding the roles of novel mechanisms that control gene expression in normal physiology and cancer. Our breakthrough work published in the eminent journal, Cell, in 2013 showed that a mode of RNA processing called “intron retention” is crucial to regulate cellular differentiation.

We have since demonstrated that intron retention is widespread (Genome Biology 2017) and is regulated by epigenetic changes (Nature Communication 2017). Building on these discoveries, a major interest of our lab is to determine how mistakes in this type of RNA processing lead to cancer development.


Other major interest of our laboratory is to determine the role of RNA modifications in normal cell differentiation and cancer. Over 100 types of RNA modifications have been identified to date. However, their functions in normal and cancer biology are largely unknown. We are passionate to establish the role of RNA modifications in the regulation of myriad biological processes, including alternative splicing, protein translation and RNA stability. We are excited at the prospect of understanding how these modifications become abnormal in cancer, and potential new therapeutic targets that may arise from these discoveries.


Other major interest of our laboratory is to determine the role of RNA modifications in normal cell differentiation and cancer. Over 100 types of RNA modifications have been identified to date. However, their functions in normal and cancer biology are largely unknown. We are passionate to establish the role of RNA modifications in the regulation of myriad biological processes, including alternative splicing, protein translation and RNA stability. We are excited at the prospect of understanding how these modifications become abnormal in cancer, and potential new therapeutic targets that may arise from these discoveries.