Interdisciplinary PhD in Structural and Computational Biology and Quantitative Biosciences

IPiB Thesis Defense Oct. 4: Hugo Medina-Munoz

Photo of Hugo Medina-Munoz

The lab of biochemistry professor Marvin Wickens studies how RNA molecules are controlled and interact with proteins. While RNA is the intermediary between DNA and proteins, it is not just a simple default: instead, RNA stability, translation and location all are regulated. Being able to define where RNAs are in a cell, across all the many thousands of RNAs in that cell, would be useful but is challenging. IPiB student Hugo Medina-Muñoz developed a method to accomplish this goal, which comprises the heart of his Ph.D. work. The method anchors an RNA modifying enzyme to a specific subcellular location, where the enzyme then labels any RNAs in its vicinity. Using the approach, Hugo identified both mRNA and non-coding RNA molecules at the outer surface of mitochondria or endoplasmic reticulum in live yeast and uncovered a conserved set of RNAs at both locations in both yeast and mammalian cells.

To learn more about Hugo’s new approach, attend his Thesis Defense on Friday, Oct. 4 in Room 1211 of the HFD Biochemical Sciences Building.

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