The proportion of predicted protein coding genes in the human genome is <~2% compared to ~88% in E. coli! This leaves the majority of the human genome as either noncoding or untranscribed. I am interested in a particular set of noncoding RNAs classified as long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). What role do lncRNAs play in the additional complexity of humans compared to E. coli, and how does their misregulation lead to disease states, such as cancer? I am taking a structural approach using chemical probing techniques combined with biophysical and cell-based functional assays to gain insight into these lncRNAs. Additionally, I am working on computational approaches to improve RNA structure modeling and prediction.