What do we study?
We are RNA biologists interested in the interaction between gene and environment.
In human genome, only 5% encodes for proteins while most are transcribed as non-coding RNAs (previously
thought to be junk DNA). We are interested in a particular class of non-coding RNAs called microRNAs,
which literally means short RNAs. Though small in size, microRNAs constitute a sizeable class of gene
regulators (~ 2000 in humans), and collectively regulate at least 60% of protein-coding gene expression.
We recently found that, during stress that is common in cancers and neurodegenerative diseases,
microRNA activities are regulated by a "druggable" post-translational modification called poly(ADP-ribose).
Our lab is investigating the molecular mechanism on how poly(ADP-ribose) regulates microRNA activities.
Given that inhibitors against poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases, i.e. enzymes that make poly(ADP-ribose),
(PARP inhibitors) have shown promise in treating cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and ischemia,
we are actively exploring the role of poly(ADP-ribose) regulation in microRNA activities in these diseases.
On what biological systems?
We cover the spectrum from the beginning of life to diseased states, using embryonic stem cells and cancer
models. In particular, we are interested in the role of stress and cellular microenvironment during these
Using what methods?
In addition to traditional molecular biology, cell biology and biochemical methods, we use state-of-the-art
quantitative proteomic, genomic and imaging techniques to address our biological questions.
Come to Join us?
We are part of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
and McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Postdoctoral Fellows/Visiting Scholars
We are seeking highly motivated individuals with background in
biophysics, biochemistry, synthetic chemistry or structural biology
of polynucleotides, including DNA, RNA or poly(ADP-ribose), or
of macromolecular post-translational modifications, such as Ubiquitin or SUMO, are preferred.
Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing his/her career goals/research plan (0.5-1 page)
and accomplishments (0.5 page) to Anthony (see below). Candidate's CV and contact info for 3 references
should also be provided.
Students interested in Graduate Studies should visit:
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Internships are open to Sophomore and Junior applicants.
Lab research may be taken for credits during academic semesters.
Opportunities may exist for Summer internships as well. Please enquire Anthony by email.
So, what do students/fellows think about living in Baltimore?
Click here for a video to find out.
Job applications should be sent to: