Recent studies have shown that the majority of the genome is transcribed, producing thousands of non-coding RNAs with presumed roles in development, health and disease.
Our project focuses on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), the largest, and least studied subclass of ncRNAs. The first aim is to study the role of lncRNAs in the oncogenic MYC pathway. LncRNAs is involved in the upstream regulation of MYC genes could prove valuable therapeutic targets as repression of MYC induces apoptosis. LncRNAs that are regulated by MYC and involved in controlling the oncogenic program will also be pursued. The second aim is to identify lncRNAs that function as lineage survival oncogenes. We will take advantage of the tissue specific expression profile of lncRNAs to identify candidate lineage survival lncRNAs in a PAN-cancer analysis. Not only are these lncRNAs promising therapeutic targets, they may also serve as candidate biomarkers for cancer diagnosis or monitoring treatment response.