Alternative splicing-also known as alternative RNA or differential splicing-is a process during gene expression that allows a single gene to code for multiple proteins. The process generates transcript variants from more than 90 per cent of human genes. We know that the disruption of this process causes or contributes to numerous diseases and disorders. But scientists still don’t fully understand the underlying regulatory mechanisms and functional roles of the vast majority of alternative splicing events.
As Canada Research Chair in RNA Biology and Genomics, Dr. Benjamin Blencowe is addressing these fundamental challenges in biomedical research. He and his research team are developing innovative new strategies to shed light on the mechanisms that underpin the regulation of splicing networks. With a focus on treating neurological disorders, they are generating large-scale maps of splice variant function and developing new splicing-directed therapeutics.