Michelle Scott, PhD

Department of Biochemistry, Université de Sherbrooke

Characterization of a novel function of small RNAs in alternative splicing

Michelle Scott
Michelle Scott, recipient of a 2012 Banting Research Foundation grant

The process of alternative splicing allows the production of multiple distinct proteins from a single gene, in a manner that can be cell-type specific. Alternative splicing requires an extensive and complex regulation. Diverse human diseases can be caused by mutations resulting in splicing deregulation including cystic fibrosis, progeria, spinal muscular atrophy, and many forms of cancer, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive understanding of this regulation.

Small non-coding RNAs represent a recently described, abundant and diverse group of molecules, now known to regulate essential cellular processes. Preliminary evidence suggests a role for specific types of small RNAs in the regulation of alternative splicing and the deregulation of their expression in cancer.

In light of these findings, I aim to characterize these small RNAs and investigate their regulatory role in alternative splicing by identifying their targets and studying the extent and consequences of their deregulation in ovarian cancer, which will be instrumental in devising and improving methods for the detection and treatment of this disease.