November 16, 2005
CONTACT: Karen Kreeger
Penn School of Medicine Student Wins Basic Genetics
(Philadelphia, PA) — Nuo Yang, a PhD student in the lab of Haig H. Kazazian, Jr., MD, chair of the Department of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, recently received the Predoctoral Basic Research Award from the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). She received a plaque and $500.00 at the ASHG annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah on Oct. 29, 2005. Yang’s talk was entitled “Antisense transcript suppresses human LINE-1 retrotransposition via an RNAi mechanism.” She was recognized for her research on transposable elements, transposons for short. Commonly known as jumping genes, transposons are genes that can move from one chromosome to another or within the same chromosome. One category of transposons is called LINE-1s (L1s), which make up 17% of the human genome. “My PhD study is focused on the regulation of the jump, what makes L1s jump or not jump, and the effect on the genome,” explains Yang. “I’m very honored to have received this award and for the recognition it brings to the field of jumping genes.” Transposons can trigger evolutionary changes in the human genome or, on the other hand, are associated with several types of human diseases, including hemophilia A, beta thalassemia, and retinitis pigmentosa.
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