Prashanth Rangan, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Department
RNA Institute, Department of Biological Sciences
Institution
State University of New York at Albany
Address
1400 Washington Avenue
2033D LSRB
City, State, Zip
Albany, NY 12222
Phone
(518) 442-3485
E-mail
prangan[at]albany.edu
Website
http://www.albany.edu/biology/faculty/prangan/
Research Field
Genetics; Biophysics
Award Year
2014

Research

Germ cells are the ultimate stem cells as they are both able to develop into any cell type and they are immortal. The germ line relies predominantly on messenger RNA regulation for specifying this unique fate but very little is known regarding how this is accomplished. My research is focused on investigating when, where and how specific messenger RNAs are “read,” to produce a protein. I determined that “non coding” sequences, or those that cannot be read to form a protein, present at the end of the RNA message is key to this control. My laboratory will investigate how these non coding sequences will direct which proteins are made during different stages of germ cell development using a combination of biophysics, genetics, and molecular and structural biology techniques. By changing these non coding sequences, we will assess how RNA regulation plays into a germ cell’s genetic flexibility, a finding that could lead to insights into the biology of other stem cells that are being explored as potential therapeutics.