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Dr. Hayden Huggins

Image of Dr. Hayden Huggins

Research Areas:

  • Post-transcriptional regulation of mRNAs
  • Developmental Biology
  • Germ Cell Biology
  • RNA-based drug development


  • Molecular biology/cloning
  • CRISPR/Cas9 genomic engineering
  • Fluorescent Microscopy
  • Affinity Chromatography
  • smFISH
  • C. elegans husbandry
  • qRT-PCR

Project Description:

Post-transcriptional regulation of mRNAs is critically important for cells developing under temporal and spatial constraints, namely germline stem cells and neurons. These cells, in particular, tightly regulate which mRNAs are degraded, stabilized/stored, and which are recruited to ribosomes for translation. Ultimately, the latter is the definitive step in gene regulation and leads to novel or enhanced cellular functionality. I am interested in the complex regulatory networks that “decide” the fate of developmentally important mRNAs. Recently, it has been appreciated that an mRNP (messenger-ribonucleoprotein) complex is the discrete functional unit of this type of post-transcriptional regulation. By understanding the rules by which these dynamical complexes operate we can bend or even break them in order to develop treatments for human disease.