Our Science – Mili Website
Stavroula Mili, Ph.D.
Stavroula (Voula) Mili obtained her BSc degree in Biology from the University of Athens, Greece and her PhD degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University under Dr. Serafin Pinol-Roma. For her post-doctoral training she joined Dr. Joan Steitz's lab at Yale University and subsequently Dr. Ian Macara's lab at the University of Virginia. She joined the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the NCI in September 2012.
Functions of localized RNAs and their roles in disease
A large number of mRNAs do not exist diffusely in the cytoplasm, but undergo specific subcellular targeting and local control of their translation. Such localized RNAs are important for various processes such as epithelial cell polarity, migration, mitotic spindle assembly and neuronal function. Defects in RNA localization are implicated in diseases such as mental retardation and cancer metastasis. The lab aims to understand the mechanisms and regulation of RNA localization in mammalian cells; the effect of localized translation on protein function; and the contribution of these processes in disease.
We have identified an RNA localization pathway that targets numerous mRNAs to cellular protrusions. A central component of this pathway is the tumor suppressor protein Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC), which is disrupted in most colorectal cancers. We have identified additional components of this pathway and are dissecting their roles and regulation. We aim to understand the functions fulfilled by these localized RNAs, and the contribution of their disruption in cancer progression. We are using a variety of microscopy-based and biochemical assays. We are also trying to develop new, or adapt existing methodologies to study localized translation and its effects on protein function. Another focus is the use of high-throughput sequencing and computational analysis to identify RNA localization determinants, reveal co-regulated groups of localized RNAs and use this information to uncover novel functional connections.
This page was last updated on 2/21/2013.