Melissa McKenzie Receives ‘Pathway to Independence’ NIH Award
Congratulations to Melissa McKenzie, PhD, a second-year postdoctoral research scientist in the lab of Chaolin Zhang, PhD for her K99/R00 “Pathway to Independence” award. This honor supports her goal to identify how alternative RNA splicing networks influence cortical interneuron specification.
Newly Tenured Systems Biology Faculty
Congratulations to Drs. Yufeng Shen, Nicholas Tatonetti, and Chaolin Zhang of the Department of Systems Biology, who have been awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor. Their new appointments are effective July 1, 2019.
Novel Computational Tool Models RNA-Binding Specificity, Provides Better Understanding of Gene Expression Regulation
A study by researchers in Dr. Chaolin Zhang’s lab details a computational method that models how RNA-binding proteins recognize specific sites in the target RNA transcripts, precisely and accurately. The researchers’ findings include identification of entirely new motifs, and their research in complex RNA regulation contributes to our understanding of the molecular basis of disease and conditions, and down the road, could aid in the development of targeted therapies. The study, published June 20 in Molecular Cell, was led by Dr. Zhang of systems biology, with senior co-authors Drs. Suying Bao and Huijuan Feng.
Postdoc Suying Bao Named Precision Medicine Fellow
Congratulations to Suying Bao, postdoctoral research scientist in the Chaolin Zhang lab, for recently being named an inaugural Precision Medicine Research fellow by Columbia’s Irving Institute of Clinical and Translational Research. The two-year fellowship aims to train postdocs to use genomics and complex clinical data to improve personalized and tailored clinical care and clinical outcomes.
New Insights on How the Reprogramming Factor LIN28 Regulates its Targets
A new study, led by Systems Biology Assistant Professor Chaolin Zhang, sheds light on a critical RNA-binding protein that is widely researched for its role in stem cell biology and its ties to cancer progression in multiple tissues. Published as the cover story in the journal, Molecular Cell, the study reveals how the LIN28 protein suppresses a specific family of microRNAs, called Let-7, which are selectively lost in cancer.