The Burge lab explores the role that changes in gene splicing could play in the biology of normal and tumor cells. The activity of genes can be regulated on many levels, including how often the DNA is “read” to produce an RNA, where within the gene that reading begins, and which of the gene’s segments are represented in the RNA molecules that ultimately direct the formation of protein. Notably, tumor cells harbor genetic changes that can alter all three of these points of control. However, little is known about how these regulatory processes are controlled, or whether they are somehow intertwined. I will combine a sequence study of RNA in different species with a sequence analysis of human cancer genomes to identify RNAs containing “extra” segments from alternative splicing that may be present more often in cancer cells, and to assess whether those segments are co-regulated with the sites where the reading of a gene begins. These findings could reveal novel targets for cancer therapeutics.