LSI Seminar Series: Astrid D. Haase, M.D., Ph.D., National Institutes of Health
A small RNA perspective on genomic conflict
Akin to an adaptive immune system, PIWI-interacting small RNAs (piRNAs) protect the integrity of germline genomes by silencing mobile genetic elements (transposons). Precision of piRNA silencing is essential for the survival of a species, and target-recognition by complementary base-pairing places the sequences of piRNAs at its center. How piRNAs are controlled to ensure silencing of all transposons while avoiding mistargeting of essential host genes remains an outstanding question in reproductive biology. This seminar presentation will explore mechanisms of piRNA biogenesis to understand how specificity of piRNA silencing is regulated and adjusted to gain control over novel genomic invaders.
Astrid Haase received an M.D. from the University of Vienna (Austria) in 2002 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Basel (Switzerland) in 2007. Haase became interested in small non-coding RNAs during her graduate work with Prof. Witek Filipowicz at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, and continued exploring mechanisms of RNA silencing as a postdoc with Prof. Greg Hannon at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. She began her independent research group as a Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator at the NIH/NIDDK in 2015.