Samantha Jones earned her PhD in June, 2018, research expertise in The Role of Nonsense-mediated mRNA Decay in Neural Development.
My work was focused on showing that the effects of UPF3A depletion or overexpression were consistent in various cell types as well as determining which particular transcripts are stabilized or destabilized upon UPF3A depletion (through half-life analysis and RNA-seq). This work is incredibly important, as until now, no NMD inhibitors have been identified. This opens up the possibility of utilizing small molecule inhibitors to rescue the effect of insufficient NMD by targeting UPF3A. Support from the NIBIB training program has given me the financial support to pursue this research over the past year, and led to a publication.