Welcome to the Zinovyeva lab

microRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate expression of many genes. microRNA activity is essential, and alterations in miRNA expression and function have been associated with many developmental pathologies and diseases. Thus, microRNAs are of great interest as diagnostic and therapeutic targets. However, to efficiently inhibit or promote microRNA activity in pathological conditions, we must first have a detailed understanding of all aspects of miRNA biogenesis and function.

microRNAs undergo a complex process of biogenesis. Pictured (on right) is the canonical microRNA production pathway that includes multiple processing steps and culminates in the formation of the microRNA Induced Silencing Complex (miRISC). While we know a lot about how microRNAs are made, we lack detailed understanding of how the steps of microRNA biogenesis are regulated at the molecular level. 

Our lab is interested in two questions: 

1. How is microRNA production and function regulated during development?

2. How is a single microRNA strand selected from the precursor duplex in vivo and how might this process of strand selection be regulated?

We use a number of different approaches to address these questions. These approaches include forward and reverse genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and proteomics, and last but not least, CRISPR genome editing and genomics. We use a small nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, as our model organism of choice. As both RNAi and microRNAs were first discovered in C. elegans, there is a wealth of small RNA knowledge in “the worm” that provides a solid foundation for our work. We hope to add to that knowledge by asking specific questions and testing specific hypotheses on regulation of microRNA biogenesis and function. Ultimately, we hope that the insights we gain into microRNA regulation will contribute to development of better microRNA-centered diagnostic and therapeutic tools. 

We are part of the Division of Biology at Kansas State University

Lab news

October 2017:          We welcome Hui Tian, a new research assistant, to the lab! 

September 2017:      Sarah Ward joins the lab as our new undergraduate researcher. Welcome!

September 2017:     Ruben Lerma-Reyes joins us for his rotation through the Genetic Graduate Program. Welcome, Ruben!

May 2017:            We welcome Vanessa Hernandez, who joins us as the LSAMP summer research student!

April 5, 2017:        Katherine Hwang has won Division of Biology's Most Promising Student Award!   Congratulations, Katherine!

March 2017:        Joel Steyer, a Genetics Graduate student, joins us for a rotation; welcome Joel!  

September 2016:   We welcome Dr. Li Li, a new Postdoctoral Associate, to the lab! 

August 2016:          The Zinovyeva lab welcomes two new graduate students: Dustin Haskell and Shilpa Hebbar! 

May 31, 2016:         We welcome LaQuan Johnson, who joins us as the 2016 summer SUROP student!

May 4th, 2016:       Katherine Hwang has been selected to be a K-INBRE undergraduate research scholar!       Congratulations, Katherine!

April 1st, 2016:       Matt Kranick has been selected for the Most Promising Student award. Congratulations, Matt!

March 21st, 2016:       We welcome Yin Wang, a new research assistant, to the lab!

January 19th, 2016:     We welcome a new undergraduate student to the lab - freshman Katherine Hwang!

Positions available

Postdocs - We are recruiting motivated and enthusiastic individuals for postdoctoral positions. If interested, please forward your cover letter and CV to zinovyeva (at) ksu.edu.

Graduate students - We are recruiting students interested in pursuing graduate (MS and PhD) degrees. Potential graduate student applicants should check out the Biology Graduate Program page and contact me at zinovyeva (at) ksu.edu. 

Undergraduate students - For position availability please inquire at zinovyeva (at) ksu.edu.