The RNA Transcript, August 24, 2020
Stephanie Moon, Human Genetics, and Nils Walter, Chemistry
receive a "Collaborative Pairs Pilot Project" Award
from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
This prestigious award supports collaborative pairs of researchers as they carry out pilot projects that aim to explore innovative, interdisciplinary approaches addressing key challenges in the biology of neurodegenerative diseases.

The Moon-Walter project will focus on how RNA regulation and RNA-protein stress granules have been implicated in a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 
The University of Michigan Center for RNA Biomedicine involves over 155 faculty members and their labs across seven Schools and Colleges on the Ann Arbor campus. We're pleased to feature these outstanding scientists and colleagues in our weekly news.

Research interests: The functions of sleep are a major unsolved mystery in modern biology. Increasing evidence suggests that sleep is by and for the brain. Aton's lab is focused on understanding what sleep does for fundamental brain functions such as storage of newly-learned information.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 4:00–5:00 pm |

 “Image-based spatial genomics
and transcriptomics”

“RNA decay deficits cause neurodegeneration in ALS/FTD”  
Tuesday, September 1, 2020, 3:00 pm | Harvard Medical School
“An RT-qPCR Method for Distinguishing isomiRs”
President and CEO, Somagenics
“RealSeq-AC, an efficient, very low-bias method for small-RNA Sequencing”
CEO, RealSeq Bioscience

A line up of outstanding RNA scientists from the US and around the world.
All times are EDT.

  • Monday, September 21, 4:00 pm, Andrey Krasilnikov, Penn State
  • Monday, September 28, 9:00 am, Hiroaki Suga, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Monday, October 19, 4:00 pm, Gene Yeo, University of California, San Diego
  • Monday, October 26, 9:00 am, Aleksandra Filipovska, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Monday, November 9, 9:00 am, Jeff Twiss, University of South Carolina
  • Monday, November 16, 4:00 pm, Michelle Hastings, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  • Monday, December 7, 4:00 pm, John Mattick, Garvin Institute of Medical Research, RNA Biology and Plasticity Lab, Darlinghurst, Australia
  • Monday, December 14, 4:00 pm, Narry Kim, Seoul National University
  • Monday, January 25, 2021, 4;00 pm, Elena Conti, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany

Our members' publications are available through Altmetric. Five queries are currently available: "RNA," "microRNA," "Transcriptome," "Translation," and "Molecule." Please make sure to have at least one of these key words in your title or abstract. Below are highlights from the last four weeks.
The carboxyl termini of RAN translated GGGGCC nucleotide repeat expansions modulate toxicity in models of ALS/FTD He, F., Flores, B.N., Krans, A. et al. acta neuropathol commun 8, 122 (2020).

"Taken together, these findings suggest that C-terminal sequences outside of the repeat region may alter the behavior and toxicity of dipeptide repeat proteins derived from GGGGCC repeats."
Community Assessment of the Predictability of Cancer Protein and Phosphoprotein Levels from Genomics and Transcriptomics Mi Yang, Francesca Petralia, Zhi Li, Hongyang Li, et al., 2020,

  • Crowdsourcing of methods to predict (phospho)proteins from DNA and RNA
  • Unbiased assessment uncovers best practices
  • Proteins in metabolic pathways and complexes best and worst predicted, respectively
Testing and controlling for horizontal pleiotropy with probabilistic Mendelian randomization in transcriptome-wide association studies Yuan, Z., Zhu, H., Zeng, P. et al., Nat Commun 11, 3861 (2020).

"We present a probabilistic Mendelian randomization (MR) method, PMR-Egger, for TWAS applications. We illustrate the benefits of PMR-Egger in applications to 39 diseases and complex traits obtained from three GWASs including the UK Biobank."