Nelson C. Lau
Assistant ProfessorLife Sciences at Brandeis
Our group is interested in dissecting the molecular mechanisms of Piwi proteins and piRNAs, with a focus on particular outstanding questions. How exactly do Piwi proteins and piRNAs silence transposons and organize asymmetrically in germ cells? What is the impact of these molecules on global gene expression and chromatin organization and how does this affect germ cell and embryonic development? How do piRNAs get generated and what triggers their specific expression in germ cells? We hope to address these questions with molecular, cell biology, and biochemical approaches in specific model systems, like Xenopus oocytes, a repository and "living test tube" of Piwi proteins and piRNAs. Insights we gain from piRNA studies will complement our examinations of other RNAi pathways, like microRNAs and endo-siRNAs.
Lab MembershipsLau Lab (Principal Investigator/Director)