Klemens Hertel, Ph.D.

hertel, k..pngKlemens Hertel, Ph.D.
(Prof. of Molecular Genetics, UC Irvine)

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FEATURED IN:

5.18 – Alien Creations (11.1.13)
5.19 – Emperors, Kings, & Pharaohs (11.8.13)

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ABOUT:

Positions:

Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
School of Medicine

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
School of Medicine

Vice Chair, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
School of Medicine

Degrees:

B.A., Colorado College
PH.D., University of Colorado, Boulder

Research Interests:

Alternative pre-mRNA splicing, regulation of gene expression, splicing regulation, bioinformatics, deep sequencing, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, human genetic disease, molecular therapy, stem cells, colon cancer

Research Abstract:

With the completion of the human genome project, it has become clear that the sheer number of genes cannot account for the complexity of the human proteome. Among several proposed mechanisms, alternative pre-mRNA splicing is considered to be one of the most efficient and widespread avenues to generate multiple protein isoforms from individual genes. Current estimates indicate that over 90% of all human genes undergo alternative splicing, thus greatly increasing the coding potential of our genome. In addition, defects in splicing have been linked with a variety of human genetic diseases. Understanding the basic mechanisms of pre-mRNA splicing and splice site recognition is therefore fundamental to understanding the expression of genes and human diseases.

Research in the Hertel laboratory focuses on understanding the mechanisms that allow for the generation of alternative splicing patterns. Specifically, we are interested in gaining insights into the most critical step of generating mRNA diversity; the processes of splice-site selection and pairing.

We are taking a number of quantitative and computational approaches

(1) to determine when and how the spliceosome commits to splice-site pairing,
(2) to understand the interplay of RNA elements influencing splice site selection,
(3) to understand the influence of transcription by RNA Pol II on alternative splicing,
(4) to develop molecular strategies to modulate alternative splicing in vivo, and
(5) to determine alternative splicing contributes to stem cell differentiation and cancer progression.

The unifying theme in these lines of investigation is the study of biochemical events that control alternative splicing patterns. Our long-term goals are to relate these basic mechanisms of splice-site recognition to biological processes and to identify strategies to manipulate the expression of splicing isoforms in disease genes. [1]

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[1] https://www.faculty.uci.edu/scripts/ucifacultyprofiles/detaildept.cfm?id=4515

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