Vuong, Celine K. (2012-2015)


Celine is in the Molecular Biology IDP.  She joined the training program in 2012. Her research mentor is Dr. Douglas Black.  She received a B.A. degree in 2009 from Brown University. 

Mentor: Dr. Douglas Black

Research project:


Alternative splicing is a key step in post-transcriptional gene regulation that creates protein variety and tissue specificity. In neurons, splicing is best characterized in development, but growing evidence indicates activity in mature cells also affects splicing regulation. Recent work in my advisor’s laboratory on the RbFox1 conditional knockout mouse found that removal of this splicing regulator leads to hyper-excitability in the hippocampus and splicing changes in multiple synaptic transcripts. Because hippocampal neurons retain spontaneous activity in culture, my project will use this in vitro system to assess RbFox1 effects on neuronal morphology and activity and to identify activity-dependent RbFox1 targets. RNA-Seq technology allows the broad identification of alternatively spliced transcripts across multiple cell conditions and the quantification of alternative exon inclusion or exclusion. Using RNA-Seq in conjunction with established chemical paradigms of  inhibition or enhancement to assess exon changes, my project will help define the role of RbFox1 and posttranscriptional regulation in the control of neuronal activity.