Institute of Genetic Medicine Newcastle University International Centre for Life Central Parkway Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3BZ
Dr M Jackson and Dr M Santibanez-Koref
My educational background includes: BSc Bioinformatics, numerous I.T. certifications and more recently an MRes in Biosciences (Newcastle University).
I am particularly interested in the genetic components of complex diseases. As a Bioinformatician, I apply my computational skills to Exome and Transcriptome analyses to further understand disease causal variants.
It is my ultimate goal to contribute my knowledge to developing adequate disease detection strategies in Africa.
Project title: Mechanisms and Impact of Post Transcriptional Exon Shuffling (PTES) in Mammals
Following transcription of most mammalian genes, exons are spliced together sequentially, maintaining the order prescribed by the DNA template and resulting in linear transcripts that are later translated. However, novel transcripts have been found with shuffled exon order different from the genomic context. This phenomenon- termed Post-Transcriptional Exon Shuffling (PTES)– can result in both linear and circular RNA (circRNA) structures but there is now evidence that most are circular and Cytoplasmic.
Furthermore, many can be expressed at levels comparable to, or higher than canonically spliced transcripts, dispelling previous suggestions that these are products of aberrant splicing. Recent reports also show that some non-coding circRNA structures act as miRNA sponges.
I have developed software to identify and quantify PTES structures transcriptome-wide and I am using this software to establish the tissue and temporal distribution of these transcripts and their relationship to canonical splice isoforms.
I also aim to investigate mechanisms of formation, nuclear export and functional relevance of these poorly understood transcripts.
Poster Presentation, North East Postgraduate Conference 2013