RNA and Disease

Dr. David Bentley in his labThe RNA and Disease Group within the RNA Bioscience Initiative identifies and defines the contribution of RNA to disease, focusing on viral diseases, neurodegenerative and other hereditary disorders, developmental abnormalities, auto-immune diseases, and cancer.

The ways in which RNA can impact human disease are vast and complex. Research to date has only touched on the most accessible of these connections, but new technologies are rapidly expanding our knowledge in this area. The most immediate connection one makes when thinking about RNA and Disease is that of human-infective pathogenic RNA viruses, including influenza, measles, polio, hepatitis C, HIV, SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, and many, many others.

Nonetheless, because RNA plays an essential role in many cellular processes, disruption of RNA processing and maturation, e.g., errors in splicing, tRNA and rRNA maturation, and other aspects of RNA metabolism, also result in human disease. In addition, dysregulation of non-coding RNA-based regulatory networks that direct normal tissue development and homeostasis has been increasingly implicated in chronic illness and cancer.

Faculty Participants

Scott Alper, PhDalpers@njhealth.orgRegulation of alternative pre-mRNA splicing in the TLR pathway to limit inflammation
Tom Anchordoquy, PhDtom.anchordoquy@cuanschutz.eduMilk exosomes as a delivery mechanism for therapeutics (peptides, proteins, DNA, RNA)
Steven Anderson, PhDsteve.anderson@ucdenver.eduMolecular basis of altered tumor metabolism
Bruce Appel, PhDbruce.appel@cuanschutz.eduMolecular basis of white matter deficits in brain development and disease
David Barton, PhDdavid.barton@cuanschutz.eduInvestigation of host-pathogen interactions involving viral RNA and endoribonucleases
Richard Benninger, PhDrichard.benninger@cuanaschutz.eduIslet dysfunction in Type1 and Type2 diabetes
David Bentley, PhDdavid.bentley@cuanschutz.eduMechanisms by which mRNA production in cancer cells becomes corrupted by abnormal coupling of transcription with chromatin modification, splicing, and mRNA 3' end formation
Joshua Black, PhDjoshua.c.black@cuanschutz.eduGenome instability, chromosomal structural aberrations, and copy number variation in cancer
Matthew Burchill, PhDmatthew.burchill@cuanschutz.eduCharacterization of altered transcriptional profiles in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) in chronic liver disease
Eric Clambey, PhDeric.clambey@cuanschutz.eduInvestigation of non-coding RNAs in gammaherpesvirus infection
Randall Cohrs, PhDrandall.cohrs@cuanschutz.eduEffects of Varicella zoster virus infection on transcription of host genes
Adela Cota-Gomez, PhDadela.cota-gomez@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of HIV-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension
Howard Davidson, PhDhoward.davidson@cuanschutz.eduInvestigation of transcriptional and translational re-programming of beta cells in type 1A diabetes
Richard Davis, PhDrichard.davis@cuanschutz.eduRNA metabolism in parasitic helminths
Patricia Ernst, PhDpatricia.ernst@cuanschutz.eduDysregulation of transcriptional networks in leukemia
Katherine Fantauzzo, PhDkatherine.fantauzzo@cuanschutz.eduCharacterization of how PDGFRalpha signaling regulates the activity of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) to generate the protein isoforms necessary for craniofacial development
Megan Filbin, PhDmfilbin1@msudenver.eduStructure-function analysis of viral RNA translation
Heide Ford, PhDheide.ford@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of tumor metastasis; dysregulation of developmental transcription factors in tumor progression
Austin Gillen, PhDaustingillen@gmail.comRNA processing in cancer
Berenice Gitomer, PhDberenice.gitomer@cuanschutz.edumiRNAs as biomarkers for kidney disease
James Hagman, PhDhagmanj@njhealth.orgRegulation of B-lymphocyte specific differentiation
Kirk Hansen, PhDkirk.hansen@cuanschutz.eduMolecular investigation of tissue remodeling in wound healing, aging, cancer and fibrotic diseases
Jay Hesselberth, PhDjay.hesselberth@cuanschutz.eduDevelopment of new molecular and computational methods to advance single-cell analysis, including approaches to measure biochemical activities, to understand molecular dissemination in vivo, and to improve the analysis of cell-type-specific gene expression patterns
Joan Hooper, PhDjoan.hooper@cuanschutz.eduMicroRNA profiling in craniofacial development
Elena Hsieh, MDelena.hsieh@cuanzchutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of immune disorders, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and others
Ethan Hughes, PhDethan.hughes@cuanschutz.eduThe effects of motor learning on cortical oligodendrogenesis in health and disease
Sujatha Jagannathan, PhDsujatha.jagannathan@cuanschutz.edumRNA surveillance in health and disease, particularly human muscular dystrophy
Aaron Johnson, PhDaaron.m.johnson@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of RNA-mediated epigenetic gene regulation in normal biology and metastatic breast cancer   
Peter Kabos, MDpeter.kabos@cuanschutz.eduRegulation of anti-endocrine resistance of breast cancer by a network of non-coding RNAs
Jeffrey Kieft, PhDjeffrey.kieft@cuanschutz.eduMechanisms by which viral RNAs manipulate host cell machinery
Melanie Koenigshoff, MD, PhDmelanie.koenigshoff@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of distal lung epithelial stem cell impairment in COPD
Laurel Lenz, PhDlaurel.lenz@cuanschutz.eduMolecular regulation of NK cell activity during bacterial infection
Hong Li, PhDhong.li@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of aberrant craniofacial development
Traci Lyons, PhDtraci.lyons@cuanschutz.eduMechanisms of therapeutic resistance and metastasis driven by pregnancy induced changes in gene and protein expression during mammary gland development 
Sandy Martin, PhDsandy.martin@cuanschutz.edu​Mechanism of LINE-1 retrotransposition and differential gene expression during hibernation
Martin McCarter, MDmartin.mccarter@cuanschutz.eduMolecular characterization of tumor infiltrating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in human melanoma
Michael McMurray, PhDmichael.mcmurray@ucdenver.eduDefining the maternal contribution of RNAs in yeast gametes
Tem Morrison, PhDthomas.morrison@cuanschutz.eduMolecular pathogenesis of mosquito-transmitted RNA viruses
Christian Mosimann, PhDchristian.mosimann@cuanschutz.eduCell fate control in development and disease
Kathryn Mouzakis, PhDkathryn.mouzakis@lmu.eduThe effect of programmed ribosomal frameshift in viral infection and disease
Neelanjan Mukherjee, PhDneelnajan.mukherjee@cuanschutz.eduMechanisms by which RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and long non-coding RNA (lncRNAs) regulate human steroid production
James  Nichols, PhDjames.nichols@cuanschutz.eduTranscriptomic comparisons of zebrafish mef2ca mutants to determine the role of this transcription factor in development
Lee Niswander, PhDlee.niswander@colorado.edulncRNAs in development
Eva Nozik, MDeva.nozik@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of redox regulation of alveolar macrophage populations in acute lung injury
Chad Pearson, PhDchad.pearson@cuanschutz.eduIdentifying centriolar RNAs in fundamental centrosomal processes and human disease
Eric Pietras, PhDeric.pietras@cuanschutz.eduRNA splicing alterations in myelodysplasia
Rytis Prekeris, PhDrytis.prekeris@ucdenver.eduMolecular regulation of breast cancer metastasis
Tania Reis, PhDtania.reis@cuanschutz.eduRegulation of fat storage by conserved RNA-binding proteins Spen and Nito in obesity
Marino Resendiz, PhDmarino.resendiz@ucdenver.eduDisease as a function of oxidative damage to non-coding RNAs
Diego Restrepo, PhDdiego.restrepo@cuanschutz.eduDifferential expression of olfactory receptors for semiochemical detection 
Jennifer Richer, PhDjennifer.richer@cuanschutz.eduInvestigation of non-coding RNAs that control oncogenic epithelial to mesenchymal transition and facilitate tumor metastasis
Olivia Rissland, PhDolivia.rissland@gmail.comCOVID genomic sequencing and tracking
Holger Russ, PhDholger.russ@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of human beta cell subtype regulation and interconversion in health and disease
Mario Santiago, PhDmario.santiago@cuanschutz.eduInterplay between innate retroviral restriction and adaptive immunity, with a conceptual focus on HIV vaccine development
Stephen Santoro, PhDstephen.santoro@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms of neural plasticity in development and disease
Carol Sartorius, PhDcarol.sartorius@cuanschutz.eduModulation of RNA polymerase III in breast cancer via progesterone receptors
Rebecca Schweppe, PhDrebecca.schweppe@cuanschutz.eduMolecular regulation of kinase pathways in thyroid cancer
Yiqun Shellman, PhDyiqun.shellman@cuanschutz.edMicroRNA-26a in melanoma 
Matthew Sikora, PhDmatthew.sikora@cuanschutz.eduMolecular mechanisms controlling the unique ER transcriptome in invasive lobular carcinoma
Lori Sussel, PhDlori.sussel@cuanschutz.eduNon-coding RNAs as regulators of islet development and function in health and disease
Matthew Taliaferro, PhDmatthew.taliaferro@cuanschutz.eduDysregulation of mRNA trafficking and localization in neurological disease
Beth Tamburini, PhDbeth.tamburini@cuanschutz.eduMechanisms of antigen archiving following vaccination via RNA-based molecular tracking
Matt Taylor, MD, PhDmatthew.taylor@cuanschutz.eduMolecular investigation of inherited cardiomyopathies
Linda van Dyk, PhDlinda.vandyk@cuanschutz.eduCharacterization of non-coding RNAs that regulate the innate immune response in virus infection and disease
M. Natalia Vergara, PhDnatalia.vergara@cuanschutz.eduUnraveling the molecular basis of retinal abnormalities in Down syndrome
Rajeev Vibhakar, MD, PhDrajeev.vibhakar@cuanschutz.eduMolecular characterization of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors, including glioma, medulloblastoma, and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors 
Quentin Vicens, PhDquentin.vicens@cuanschutz.eduViral RNA structure
Beat Vogeli, PhDbeat.vogeli@cuanschutz.eduRole of non-coding RNAs in bacterial virulence
Mary Weiser-Evans, PhDmary.weiser-evans@cuanschutz.eduModulation of vascular smooth muscle cells using siRNA to mimic cardiac injury
Rui Zhao, PhDrui.zhao@cuanschutz.eduDysregulation of the Six1/Eya transcriptional complex in breast and other cancers