Imaging RNA and RNA biology with RNA mimics of green fluorescent protein
Dr. Samie Jaffrey is the Greenberg-Starr Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the Weill Cornell Medical College. He received an M.D. and Ph.D. in 1999 from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he studied mechanisms of nitric oxide signaling with Dr. Solomon H. Snyder and started his own laboratory at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2001.
Dr. Jaffrey's work has fundamentally advanced our understanding of RNA biology and gene regulation. His lab developed genetically encoded fluorescent RNAs for imaging RNA localization and trafficking in live cells, including the Spinach-tagged RNAs. He has extended this technology to create a new class of genetically encoded biosensors composed of RNA that allows signaling molecules to be imaged in living cells. Most recently, he has helped to launch the field of "epitranscriptomics," which relates to the diverse nucleotide modifications that impact the fate and function of mRNA and long noncoding RNAs in cells. Dr. Jaffrey's transcriptome-wide mapping of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in 2012 revealed that m6A is a pervasive modification in the transcriptome, thereby identifying this modification as a fundamentally novel form post-transcriptional mRNA regulation. Since this seminal study, Dr. Jaffrey mapped dimethyladenosine (m6Am) and established functions of m6A and m6Am as well as m6A and m6Am reader, writer, and eraser proteins.