Tai Montgomery Associate Professor

Office: Biology 240

Phone: (970) 491-7198

Website: http://montgomerylab.org


RESEARCH SUMMARY  RNA interference (RNAi) and related pathways engage small RNAs to control endogenous genes and distinguish invading genes from “self” to act as an immune system for viruses and tranpsosons. Small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), and small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs), affect gene expression transcriptionally through epigenetic modifications and post-transcriptionally through translational repression and mRNA decay. Small RNAs are so adaptable that together with their protein cofactors they have proliferated and diversified extensively so as to control a wide range of biological processes. The mechanisms in which small RNAs are made and how they function is conserved between animals as distantly related as Caenorhabditis elegans and humans. Our research focuses on understanding these important regulatory pathways and how they intersect processes as diverse as heterochromatin formation, transcriptional elongation, translation of mRNAs, and sorting of RNAs within a cell. The small RNA regulation of these processes is now emerging to be important in various disease states as well. Although considerable progress has been made in our understanding of small RNA pathways in the past 15 years, there are still many exciting discoveries to be made. Check us out on Facebook - Montgomery Lab