Rebecca Chowdhury, Ph.D.
Dr. Chowdhury’s research goal is to understand the mechanisms through which RNA-binding proteins control RNA localization, stability, and assembly, and the contribution of these processes to neurodegeneration. During her graduate studies as a Ph.D. student in Dr. Jeffrey Trimarchi’s lab, she worked on understanding how specific intrinsic factors control cell fate decisions and neuronal maturation processes in the retina. Atoh7 is a highly conserved transcription factor that is essential for retinal ganglion cell development and labels a subset of cells in the developing retina that are progressing from a progenitor to a differentiated state. Dr. Chowdhury performed transcriptome profiling of Atoh7+ individual cells isolated from mouse retina, thereby obtaining a wealth of information about how distinct types of retinal neurons are produced. She also carried out functional studies in the mouse, and using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, in zebrafish. Currently, she is working on elucidating the many roles of Stau2, an RNA-binding protein in different aspects of brain development and function.