Research Focus

Linear RNA and their host messages can be differentially localized. We are studying how and why this happens.

Linear RNA and their host messages can be differentially localized. We are studying how and why this happens.

A fundamental mystery in biology is how and why do the genomes of living cells produce orders of magnitude more RNA species than genes?

Our long-term goal is answer this question by achieving nanometer-resolved maps of three dimensional DNA structure, RNA interactions with proteins and organelles, and eventually find organizing principles that predict control of gene expression from sequence composition to spatial localization, the functions of expressed RNAs. We build these models in order to achieve fundamental insight into basic biological principles and identify new biomarkers and therapeutic targets in disease.

Our guiding approach to solving this problem is to identify important special cases to guide our methodology development and then use these methods to solve the general and foundational problems above.

Examples of the goals of current projects include:

  1. Developing technology for super-resolution, ultra-high throughput  spatial, single-nucleotide resolved detection of RNA, DNA and proteins
     
  2. Determining biological networks up and downstream of circular RNA biogenesis and function

  3. Discovering RNAs are expressed specifically or are dysregulated in cancer, which are effective biomarkers or targets, and or confer resistance to therapy

We currently use systems from single celled organisms to human tissues and primary cancer samples to study these questions.



Get Involved

Please contact Julia (julia.salzman at stanford.edu) if you are interested in learning more about or becoming involved in our work which draws from 

  • Statistics
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Bioinformatics

High school students interested in summer work should apply through the SIMR or Genecamp programs.