Research in the lab of Dr.
Richard Gregory focuses on understanding the mechanism and role of
small regulatory RNAs in embryonic stem (ES) cells. ES cells have the
remarkable capacity to self-renew and to differentiate into all cell
types and are of potential therapeutic value for numerous degenerative
diseases. However, the molecular foundations of stem cell maintenance
and cellular pluripotency remain poorly defined. It is emerging that
cells possess a wide repertoire of tiny regulatory RNAs that are
critical for a variety of biological pathways and can repress genes via
numerous mechanisms. For posttranscriptional gene silencing, microRNAs
(miRNAs), and small inhibitory RNAs (siRNAs), function as guide
molecules inducing mRNA degradation or translational repression.