Computational genomics, RNA biology, RNA folding, statistical signal processing, mathematical modeling
Dr. Aviran studies how RNA molecules fold into various intricate structures and how these structures help them execute their biological functions. The Aviran Group develops algorithms and software for rapidly determining RNA structures from novel high-throughput experiments, which provide a snapshot of the transcriptome—the entire range of RNA transcripts expressed in a cell—at single-nucleotide resolution. The transcriptome is dynamic, changing its structure and function in response to environmental or developmental conditions. The group specializes in analyzing, interpreting and translating these massive experimental datasets into quantitative models of how RNA molecules adapt to the cellular environment and regulate cellular processes. The methods and platforms the group develops will enhance our understanding of the role of RNAs in human disease, accelerate discovery of new regulatory RNAs and advance the design of RNA-based drugs.