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MicroRNAs as Regulators of Cellular Programs


This project involves modeling the role of transcription factors and miRNAs in the control of systems implicated in maintaining and regaining optimal health.


Professor Albert Y. Zomaya, Professor Mathew Vadas.

Research location

Charles Perkins Centre – the Judith and David Coffey Life Lab

Program type



Transcription factors and miRNAs target different levels of regulation (transcription vs. translation) models that examine the reasons why these different control systems evolved and what utility they might have individually and collectively in maintaining health, would provide a useful framework for further biological enquiry. The metaphor ‘leader of the orchestra' has often been used in biological systems to describe master regulators of complex cellular events or of development. Transcription factors, which work alone or in combinatorial systems to promote or prevent gene expression in systems linking nutrition to health, have often been thought of as key ‘conductors'. More recently a new class of regulation has emerged by non-coding RNA molecules. There is only a limited number of these molecules (of the order of hundreds) identified, but each has targets in a number of genes, primarily regulating their translation.

Additional information

The Life Lab creates a new kind of graduate and postgraduate training environment at the interface between life, social, economic and physical sciences. Its focus is to address the significant challenges we face from an unsustainable food system that degrades the environmental services it depends on, and creates significant societal health problems. A better understanding of the complexity of the environment-food-health nexus is critical. It is fundamental to building a sustainable society, and one that is more robust to future uncertainties. Our unique approach will be a world-first in shifting research on these growing challenges from treating symptoms to prevention.Life Lab will challenge existing paradigms and university models to create a research training environment in which traditional disciplinary boundaries do not apply. Our ambitious vision is to create an ‘innovation hub' where researchers from disciplines spanning physical, life and social and economic sciences will interface with business, government and agency leaders. It will develop integrated approaches to the challenges that threaten societal wellbeing, and train the next generation of experts with the skills required to find solutions.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1685

Other opportunities with Professor Albert Y. Zomaya