Dr Stephen Cohen (University of Copenhagen)
8 October 2015
GLT3, Medical School Building
Professor Sudhesh Kumar, Dean of Warwick Medical School, is delighted to welcome Dr Stephen Cohen to give a Dean's Distinguished Lecture.
Use of Drosophila genetic models to investigate disease mechanisms
MicroRNAs have emerged in recent years as important regulators of homeostatic mechanisms. Animal genomes encode hundreds of miRNAs, each of which is capable of regulating hundreds of protein coding genes. The fact that miRNAs coordinately regulate large numbers of genes makes them particularly interesting from a disease perspective. MiRNAs can target groups of genes that act together in a common biological process.
Our lab has developed a set of unique resources comprising targeted knock-out mutations deleting miRNA genes and transgenic strains that permit regulated overexpression of these miRNAs in Drosophila as well as computational and biochemical tools for target identification. With these tools we can easily manipulate the fly genome to assess the effects miRNAs and their targets on biological processes of interest. We focus on models of cancer and neurodegenerative disease, where conservation of disease mechanisms between fly and human is compelling.