Tariq Rana's Research Focus
Welcome to the Rana laboratory, where biologists and chemists work together to address fundamental questions in RNA and Chemical Biology. We study regulation of cellular processes by RNA during creation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), in stem cell differentiation and fate decisions, and in various disease states. Our laboratory develops and employs innovative multidisciplinary approaches to understand RNA-mediated gene silencing and host-pathogen interactions. In addition to biochemical, molecular and cell biology methods, these approaches include high-throughput gene silencing and sequencing, comparative and quantitative proteomics, small molecule screening, and tissue-specific RNAi in animals. Here are some examples of ongoing studies in the laboratory: (1) What are the epigenetic mechanisms and networks that regulate generation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells? (2) What are the barrier pathways in pluripotent stem cell generation? (3) What roles does the RNAi machinery and non-coding RNAs have in the reprogramming process to create various types of stem cells? (4) How do RNA and ribonucleoprotein complexes modulate innate immunity, viral replication, and host-pathogen interactions? (5) How can we design and develop small molecules to probe and perturb diverse regulatory networks? By answering these questions, we will uncover fundamental principles that govern RNA regulation in human development and in disease pathophysiology. The knowledge and technologies created by these studies would provide new opportunities in clinical translational medicine by developing small molecule and RNA-based therapeutics. Current medical and disease models under investigation in the laboratory and with collaborators include regenerative medicine, AIDS, immune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
Tariq Rana's Bio
Tariq M. Rana, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of the RNA Biology Program at Sanford-Burnham. Dr. Rana’s laboratory has discovered fundamental structural and functional features of small RNAs required for gene silencing in human cells. In addition, his laboratory has uncovered mechanisms involving small RNAs and RNA-protein complexes in regulating host-pathogen interactions. Dr. Rana received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis and he was an American Cancer Society fellow at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a recipient of numerous awards including a Research Career Award from the National Institutes of Health in 1996. Dr. Rana has advised a number of biotechnology companies and has served as a member of several Scientific Advisory Boards. Prior to joining the faculty of the Sanford-Burnham, Dr. Rana was a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Director of a Program in Chemical Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Rana joined SBP in 2008 to establish the Program for RNA Biology.