I am a molecular biologist and I have completed my scientific training in Japan, France, and the UK. I have a desire to understand the molecular mechanisms of cancer biology, especially breast cancer biology. I am also fascinated by RNA biology, and how it impacts cellular behaviour in complex ways.
Current Project : Epitranscriptional dynamics of MYC-driven genes
The MYC transcription factor is a key player in oncogenic transcription programs. So far, the study of MYC-driven gene expression programs neglected that RNA abundance and its variation are determined by the kinetic rates of three steps, which collectively shape the dynamics of the RNA life cycle: RNA synthesis, processing, and degradation.
Recently, the lab pioneered the development of novel methods to study RNA dynamics, based on RNA metabolic labeling and mathematical modeling and showed that the acute modulation of MYC has broad consequences on all stages of the RNA and life cycle.
The fate of thousands of mRNAs in eukaryotic cells is markedly influenced by the presence of multiple epitranscriptional modifications, the most abundant being the N6-methyladenosine (m6A). While it has been recently shown that the m6A machinery interacts with the epigenome and the transcriptional machinery, it is currently unclear if the m6A epitranscriptome is important for the establishment of gene expression programs driven by specific transcription factors such as MYC.
I am particularly interested in studying the interplay between the m6A machinery and the dynamics of MYC-driven genes in breast cancer. Indeed, MYC amplification is associated with high-grade tumours and triple-negative breast cancer. The epitranscriptome is also heavily altered in those breast cancer types. Understanding the relationship between the methylation and the life-cycle of specific transcripts could shed light on unsuspected molecular mechanisms in these hard to treat breast cancer subtypes.