RNA, once thought of as a simple go-between from DNA to protein, is now recognized as one of biology’s most versatile molecules. As such, interrogating the RNA biology of cancer will uncover new diagnostic and treatment strategies.
It is now well appreciated that only a small fraction of RNAs inside human cells encode the genetic instructions for building proteins. A myriad of other types of noncoding RNAs have been implicated in a wide range of functions. These roles range from providing structural scaffolding, to helping organize DNA, activating signaling molecules, silencing specific genes and boosting gene activities. Many of these species of RNA are important contributors to health and disease.
Two hubs of RNA biology research in CCR are the RNA Biology Laboratory and the NCI RNA Biology Initiative.
RNA Biology Laboratory
The RNA Biology Laboratory was formed in 2017 to enhance RNA research at the NCI. Its mission is to conduct cutting-edge research into the roles of RNAs and RNA-protein complexes in cancer and to foster synergistic interactions and cross-disciplinary collaborations between a wide range of RNA scientists and clinicians.
The NCI RNA Biology Initiative
The mission of the NCI RNA Biology Initiative is to create an interdisciplinary environment to facilitate the rapid exchange of information and expertise on the structure, function and biological roles of RNA and to foster synergistic interactions among NCI intramural investigators.
RNA Biology Fellowships and Jobs
CCR has opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in RNA biology research, including laboratory-based fellowships for postbaccalaureate, predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. CCR fellows and faculty have access to unique resources, including cutting-edge technologies and cores, a highly collaborative environment of top researchers, awards for outstanding postdocs and scientific symposia and lectures featuring world renowned experts.