The Flynn Lab is located in the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB) in the Harvard University the Harvard Medical School. Our lab is interested in uncovering novel mechanisms that govern how RNA controls fundamental biological processes in biology, with a special focus on human disease mechanisms.
We take an RNA-centric approach to understanding fundamental and disease-related mechanisms of how biology operates. Models of cancer and stem cells are used for the majority of our work looking into the genetic, biochemical, and molecular features of how RNA acts as a regulatory molecule. In particular we are focused on a few broad topics:
We recently discovered that mammalian cells robustly incorporate metabolic reporters that specifically label glycans into cellular RNA. Through a series of experiments, we determined that small, conserved, noncoding RNAs are selectively modified with glycans which look like N-glycans on proteins. A significant amount of exciting work is now possible, including technology development of novel tools to assay and purify glycoRNAs, uncovering the scope of glycoRNAs across species, and understanding where glycoRNAs functionally operate in cells. We see this as a new functional domain for RNA, and a direct interface between RNA and glycobiology.
As a pathogen, RNA can cause significant disease, as most recently shown with SARS-CoV-2 and the associated COVID-19 disease. We have successfully leveraged RNA-centric technologies to better understand the host networks viral genomes physically hijack during infection. There are ongoing efforts to expand these datasets as well as develop novel tools to explore this interface.
Candidates will have deep experience in wet-lab, dry-lab, or a combination of the two. Prior knowledge in molecular, cell, or chemical biology will be helpful, however new learning and deeper development in those fields within the lab is welcome for those who are independently motivated and have a passion for science.
Location and Affiliations
Our lab is physically located in the Karp Family Research Building at the center of the Longwood Medical Campus in Boston. We are an affiliate member in the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and a member of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
Contact Professor Ryan Flynn at email@example.com. Please include a cover letter, CV, and names/contact information for references.