Research

Our lab studies the small RNA mediated gene activation (RNAa) mechanism and tries to understand whether RNAa is a naturally occurring phenomenon, if yes, whether it is involved in diseases especially cancer. We are also testing RNAa as cancer therapeutics and as a tool for stem cell reprogramming.

The two main research themes of our lab are RNA activation (RNAa) and prostate cancer. Ongoing research projects are as follows:

  1. Study the molecular mechanisms of RNAa.

  2. We recently identified a small RNA-mediated gene activation mechanism termed RNAa. This project is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanism of RNAa and defining rules for selecting functional dsRNA targets on gene promoters.
  3. Study in vivo anti-tumor effects of RNAa via targeted activation of tumor suppressor genes in prostate cancer animal models.

  4. We are interested in applying RNAa to cancer treatment and are currently testing such application with several cancer models including prostate cancer and bladder cancer.
  5. Preclinical evaluation of RNAa-based p21 activation for the treatment of bladder cancer.

  6. Supported by the AACR Henry Shepard Bladder Cancer Research Grants, this project is aimed at evaluating anti-tumor activity of RNAa-based activation of the p21 gene.
  7. Identify endogenous RNAa.

  8. Efforts are currently been made to identify endogenous RNAa mediated by naturally occurring small RNAs including microRNA.
  9. Study stem cell reprogramming.

  10. This project, supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is designed to apply RNAa technique to the reprogramming of stem cells without using virus.

FAQs about RNAa
RNAa transfection protocol