Photo of Stanford student and Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant Sophie Parsa.
2020 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Computer Science
Mentor: Mary Hynes, Biology

“Biological Functions of the 3’UTR in Tumor Development”

Over the last decade, it has been shown that RNA is not simply a messenger, as RNA itself can critically regulate many biological processes. The Hynes lab and others have identified the widespread, stable, and non-random expression of 3 prime untranslated regions of mRNA (3’UTR) sequences even in the absence of their coding regions (CDS). They are now investigating the biological role of such “isolated” 3’UTRs in early neural development. Sophie will expand on this developmental role proposed by the Hynes Lab to examine the role of 3’ UTR sequences in the tumor development of skin cancer, as well as other common cancer types. Sophie will be using open source RNA-seq expression cancer data sets and conduct analyses of gene categories and cell clustering to potentially identify unique signaling pathways that are pertinent to this study.