• Title Instructor – Cifuentes Lab
  • Education Ph.D. University Paris-Saclay, France
    M.S. Voronezh State University, Russia
    B.S. Voronezh State University, Russia
  • Office K425
  • Area of Interest microRNAs, RNA-binding proteins, regulation of protein synthesis, developmental biology

In the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Cifuentes, I am trying to uncover the mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression during vertebrate development. Specifically, my efforts are devoted to elucidating how microRNAs are produced, which set of targets they regulate, and what impact this regulation has on the cell differentiation process.

I initially discovered an interest in post-transcriptional control while working on my Master’s thesis project at the Institute of Protein Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the laboratory of Dr. Lev Ovchinnikov whose focus was on understanding how RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) control the translation of mRNA. I continued to pursue my passion for RBPs during my Ph.D. at the University of Evry in France (part of the University of Paris-Saclay) under the mentorship of Drs. Patrick Curmi and David Pastré with continued support by Dr. Ovchinnikov. During this time, I applied methods of biochemistry and structural biology to investigate the organization of messenger ribonucleoprotein complexes (mRNPs) formed by different RBPs and mRNAs in vitro.

In the Cifuentes laboratory, I use zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model organism to understand the regulatory mechanisms responsible for miRNA processing and accumulation during erythropoiesis and the contribution of microRNAs to cell fate commitment during the formation of blood cells. In a more recent project, I am exploring the principles governing the recognition of mRNA targets by RBPs during early zebrafish development and how these interactions contribute to the dynamic changes in gene expression taking place during the maternal-to-zygotic transition.




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