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Structural and Functional Characterization of Long Non-coding RNAs

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

4:00 PM-5:30 PM

BIOMED Seminar

Structural and Functional Characterization of Long Non-coding RNAs

Srinivas Somarowthu, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Drexel University College of Medicine

Recent advancement in next-generation sequencing technologies led to the discovery of a novel class of RNA molecules termed long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). LncRNAs—RNA transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides with no protein-coding capacity—are shown to be crucial players in various cellular processes. Several lncRNAs are dysregulated in many human diseases, including cancer. There is emerging evidence suggesting that lncRNAs are prominent biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. LncRNAs are also shown to be potential therapeutic targets for cancer and other diseases. Despite their significance, molecular mechanisms governing lncRNA function are largely unknown.

The research in my lab focuses on investigating the structure-function relationships in lncRNAs to advance our knowledge and understanding of their involvement in various cellular processes. To this end, we dissect the mechanisms of lncRNAs at molecular level using a combination of computational and experimental techniques. In addition, my lab is also interested in developing computational tools that will accelerate ncRNA research by providing valuable information to guide experiments. In the future, we will apply our knowledge of RNA structures towards applications in biotechnology and synthetic biology through RNA design and nanotechnology.

Srinivas Somarowthu, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Drexel University College of Medicine. He received MS in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and PhD in Biochemistry and Computational Biology from the Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Dr. Somarowthu's post-doctoral studies with Professor Anna Pyle at Yale University involved computational modeling and biochemical characterization of large RNAs.

Contact Information

Ken Barbee

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Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 120


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