RNA is at the core of almost all basic cellular processes, from the making of proteins to the control of cell fate and function. Given this centrality of RNA, understanding the many roles of cellular RNA and how these molecules are regulated to ensure human health is a broad, growing and impactful area of basic science research.
Penn is home to over 30 research groups that are at the frontier of RNA research. These investigators use a combination of biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, disease models, high-throughput screening, microscopy, and patient-derived cells to study mechanisms of alternative RNA processing, regulation of protein translation, RNA modifications, and the function of non-coding RNAs and RNA binding proteins in diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegeneration to viral infection.
The Basic Science branch of the Institute for RNA Innovation brings together these research groups from across the University, CHOP and Wistar to promote scientific dialogue and collaboration. Through such interactions we seek to foster inventive new research directions both amongst the Basic Scientists and in conjunction with the other expertise represented in the Institute for RNA Innovation.