Viruses use different storage methods for the genetic information needed for the viral life cycle. These range from dsDNA, dsRNA, ssRNA, etc. Previous work has focused on the study of viral protein products after gene expression from the viral genome. However, with the recent development of mRNA vaccines, attention has been shifting to also focus on the studies of the viral genome, specifically how complex nucleic acid structures function to regulate viral life cycle processes and disease. I am interested in using in vivo SHAPE-MaP methods for identifying secondary structures in both genomic and subgenomic viral RNAs of SARS-CoV-2, and how the structures function to regulate processes like replication, transcription, or translation.
As a graduate student from the department of chemistry, I am excited to be using both biochemical and genetic techniques to study these structure-function relationships in disease-relevant systems.