Headshot portrait of Lara Elcavage - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Chemical Engineering
Mentor: Paul Khavari, Dermatology

While some RNA encoded by the genome is translated to produce functional proteins, other RNAs, such as small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), have a variety of other functions. SnoRNAs are commonly involved in modifying protein-producing machinery, and aberrations in their expression have been observed in cancer cells. Lara’s project uses CRISPR-Cas9, a technology that effectively and specifically changes genes within organisms, to systematically delete hundreds of snoRNA genes in order to examine which of these contribute to cancer initiation and progression.