R-loops in health and disease

This is a hybrid seminar, with an in-person audience limited to 15 seats and virtual attendance via Zoom. Contact: jo.peel@path.ox.ac.uk to register.

Dr Natalia Gromak is an RNA biologist interested in understanding the mechanisms of gene expression in health and disease. After PhD in the University of Cambridge investigating alternative splicing and Post-doctoral experience at the Dunn School of Pathology studying the molecular basis of co-ordination between transcription and RNA processing, she established and leads an R-loop biology lab here in Oxford supported by the Royal Society Fellowship.

Work in Gromak lab focuses on understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of RNA/DNA hybrids (R-loops) in health and disease, using molecular biology and biochemistry tools. R-loops are formed in all living organisms and they are implicated in many biological functions. However, their mis-regulation can cause human diseases. Gromak lab has demonstrated the association of R-loops with neurodegenerative diseases (Groh et al 2014a, b) and cancer (Kotsantis et al, 2016). More recently, the lab characterised R-loop proteome in human cells, providing a platform for the functional analysis of R-loops and uncovering multiple novel molecular aspects of R-loop biology (Cristini et al, 2018; Cristini et al, 2019; Abakir et al, 2020). This seminar will focus on the recent work from the lab characterising the functions of pathological R-loops in human diseases. This work provides the basis for development of future R-loop therapeutics.

Gromak lab: www.path.ox.ac.uk/content/natalia-gromak