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Rohit Venkat

Washington University in St. Louis

Gregor Neuert lab

In the pursuit of understanding epigenetic regulation by the noncoding genome, thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been cataloged in humans and model organisms alike, yet the functions of the overwhelming majority of lncRNAs remain unclear. Recent findings suggest that lncRNA transcription may serve an intrinsic role as local regulators of gene expression, but our present understanding of lncRNAs is still limited in part because current approaches fail to account for the stochastic nature of gene expression and are insensitive to distinguishing between different mechanisms of transcriptional regulation. The goal of my research project is to overcome these barriers to understanding lncRNA function by interrogating lncRNA and mRNA transcription dynamics in single cells. Illuminating how lncRNA dynamics and genomic context coordinate different modes of transcriptional regulation will lay the foundation for systematic lncRNA characterization and improved mechanistic understanding of the noncoding genome.