Research and Interests
While alternative splicing (i.e. the differential processing of introns and exons to generate multiple RNA or non-coding RNA isoforms) has been implicated in nearly all biological processes in which it has been investigated, as well as in cancer and many other pathologies, its role in vertebrate embryonic development remains largely unknown.
Dr. Irimia seeks to determine the role of alternative splicing and other mechanisms of transcriptomic diversification in vertebrate embryonic development and evolution. Integrating this information with data from other layers of gene regulation his group explores:
- the impact of post-transcriptional mechanisms in early vertebrate development and its connections with embryonic pluripotency and stem cell biology, and
- how transcripts containing neural-specific exons and microexons shape neuronal protein-protein interaction networks during neurogenesis, and contribute to the evolution of our brain.
Overall, Dr. Irimia’s research can have important implications in fertility and neurodegeneration.
Expertise and Capabilities
Irimia is an expert in evolutionary biology, embryology and neurogenesis. His team combines computational and experimental approaches to study the functions of alternative exons in vertebrates in vivo, using mouse and zebrafish as model systems. They also apply transcriptome-wide analyses of alternative splicing using RNA-seq.
To know more about the group please click here.