Mitchell Guttman, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering
Institution
California Institute of Technology
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
M/C 156-29
City, State, Zip
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone
(626) 395-4737
E-mail
mguttman[at]caltech.edu
Website
http://lncRNA.caltech.edu/
Research Field
Cell biology, Genetics
Award Year
2015

Research

My research aims to understand how a newly discovered class of regulatory ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules controls gene activity. As a graduate student, I helped identify and characterize a novel class of RNAs, called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Mammals make thousands of different lncRNAs, which play key roles in regulating a broad range of genes. It is now clear that many of these lncRNAs are involved in keeping tumor growth in check as their misregulation has now been implicated in numerous human cancers. While it is clear that lncRNAs play important roles in cancer formation, how they control these cellular processes is unclear largely because the mechanism by which lncRNAs act even in normal cells is unknown. Using novel genomic and biochemical methods that my lab has developed for purifying lncRNAs, we will capture specific lncRNAs to identify the proteins with which they interact, where they localize in the genome, and how they control gene expression programs in the cell. Using this information, we aim to elucidate how lncRNAs operate to understand why their disruption leads to various human cancers and to use this knowledge to develop specific and novel therapeutics in cancer treatment.