Along with Mauro Calabrese (Pharmacology), Samantha Pattenden was granted a Tier 1 award from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation. The award allows them to develop small molecule probes to inhibit the regulatory capacity of long noncoding RNAs.
Molecules called long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) finely tune the expression of genes essential for normal growth and development. Aberrant lncRNA activity drives many genetic disorders and cancers, but, currently, no approved therapies exist to target lncRNA function. We developed an assay to track lncRNA regulatory activity that we will apply to find inhibitors of two disease-causing lncRNAs.