RNA Chemical Biology

We are developing novel chemical tools and are applying them to the study and control of RNA structure and function in living systems. We have designed and synthesized new cell-permeable reagents that react with RNA at accessible regions, enabling the mapping of RNA structure and interactions transcriptome-wide. We are also developing new caging technologies, called “RNA cloaking”. This work takes advantage of high-efficiency chemical reactions that we have developed with 2’-OH groups in RNA. We are also using this class of reactions to functionalize and label RNA, and to visualize and control RNA activity in cells and animals. Combined with next-gen sequencing and biophysical studies, we are using these methods to attain a better understanding of the complexities of RNA biology.