An area of special interest to me is defining how viral RNA structure governs its function in cellular processes, and how structured motifs can function as molecular scaffolds for various effector molecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins.
We are working at the interface of molecular biology and virology. We use molecular, biochemical, and bioinformatic tools to study the structure, function, epitranscriptomic regulation of viral coding and non-coding RNAs. Our research ultimately leads to understanding the viral RNAs structure-to-function relationship, and the potential identification of new antiviral targets and therapies.
- Host-Microbial Interactions Core.
We are exploring the structure, function, and epitranscriptomic regulation of viral coding and non-coding (lnc) RNAs in the context of different viral systems, e.g., herpesviruses, coronaviruses, pestiviruses, flaviviruses (national and international collaborations)
Our main projects focus on long non-coding PAN lncRNA encoded by oncogenic DNA virus - Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.
My research focuses on defining how conformational aspects of viral non-coding RNAs, i.e. secondary structure, tertiary interactions, post-transcriptional modifications, govern their function in cellular processes and viral pathogenesis, and how RNA structure motifs can function as molecular scaffolds for effector molecules, i.e. other RNAs, DNA, proteins
Skills and Expertise
- Molecular Cloning
- DNA Sequencing
- Gel Electrophoresis
Some of my past projects involved the dissection of long-range tertiary interactions and cis-acting RNA motifs that modulate functions of viral RNAs during infection, i.e. Ebola virus, Dengue virus, and HIV. Another project involved the identification of a novel drug capable of selectively targeting the HIV-1 TAR RNA hairpin. Currently, my work focuses on resolving the secondary structure of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) lncRNA in the living cell and within virions.