The Genetics Society of America (GSA) has selected Andrea Pauli, PhD, a postdoc in Alex Schier’s lab, for the Chi-Bin Chien Award, which is given to an outstanding graduate student, postdoctoral trainee, or recently appointed faculty member. Pauli, who is the second recipient of this award, spoke about her work on developmental genomics at the GSA’s 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics, held June 24–28, 2014 in Madison, Wisconsin.
In her presentation “From genomics to novel gene functions in zebrafish,” Pauli highlighted recent advances in gene annotation and functional gene discovery made by her and her colleagues from the Schier Lab, Eivind Valen and Guo-Liang Chew. Combining experimental RNA-sequencing and ribosome profiling data with computational approaches, they identified hundreds of non-coding RNAs and previously un-annotated protein-coding genes (Pauli et al 2012; Chew et al 2013; Pauli et al 2014). “Our data suggests that translation – similar to transcription – is much more pervasive than previously anticipated,” she said. “Our work on Toddler/Apela, a newly discovered embryonic signal acting via APJ/Apelin receptor GPCRs to promote mesendoderm migration during gastrulation, raises the exciting possibility that other developmental regulators are yet to be characterized.”About the Award
The Chi-Bin Chien Award honors zebrafish researcher Dr. Chi-Bin Chien (1965–2011) and “his enthusiasm for the discussion of scientific ideas and the synergistic ideas that arise from interactions and open conversation among researchers, his efforts to mentor and support young scientists, and the collaborative and generous spirit with which he contributed to advances in zebrafish research.”
Chi-Bin was Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah and served the international zebrafish community in numerous ways, including his service as Director of the Zebrafish Neural Development and Genetics Course at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and as an organizer of the International Conference on Zebrafish Genetics and Development.
Andrea Pauli’s Recent Research Papers
Pauli, A., Valen, E., Lin, M.F., Garber, M., Vastenhouw, N.L., Levin, J.Z., Fan, L., Sandelin, A., Rinn, J.L., Regev, A., and Schier, A.F. (2012) Systematic identification of long noncoding RNAs expressed during zebrafish embryogenesis. Genome Research 22, 577-91. Epub 2011 Nov 22.
Chew, G.-L., Pauli, A., Rinn, J.L., Regev, A., Schier, A.F., and Valen, E. (2013). Ribosome profiling reveals resemblance between long non-coding RNAs and 5’ leaders of coding RNAs. Development 140, 2828-34.
Pauli A, Norris ML, Valen E, Chew GL, Gagnon JA, Zimmerman S, Mitchell A, Ma J, Dubrulle J, Reyon D, Tsai SQ, Joung JK, Saghatelian A, Schier AF. Toddler: an embryonic signal that promotes cell movement via Apelin receptors. Science. 2014 Feb 14;343(6172):1248636. doi: 10.1126/science.1248636.