Hei-Yong “Grant” Lo
Project Title: Uncovering the mechanisms of RNA localization to the centrosome
Program: Molecular Biology; Medical Scientist Training Program
Mentor: J. Matthew Taliaferro
I seek to discover how the RNA transcriptome around the centrosome is formed and why it is important for its function. Normal cell division relies on a functioning centrosome with its local and specific RNA transcriptome. Loss of specific RNA transcripts recapitulates the cell-cycle defects and segregation errors found in numerous cancers. However, what RNAs are present at the centrosome, how they get there, and the consequences of mislocalization are completely unknown. I use a state-of-the-art technique known as Halo-Sequencing to enrich for and sequence RNA transcripts at the centrosome. Using both unbiased, computational screens combined with targeted smFISH experimental approaches, I will uncover candidate RNAs localized to the centrosome. Then I plan to identify mechanisms of RNA localization to the centrosome. These experiments will lay the foundation of uncovering how mislocalizing RNA to or from the centrosome will affect cell division, possibly allowing us to discover novel roles for RNA at the centrosome and expand upon centrosome biology.