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PhD defense

Sabine Seeler: Do circular RNAs possess a functional role in the nervous system?

PhD defence, Thursday, 23 September 2021, Sabine Seeler

Sabine Seeler

RNAs are essential biomolecules in the regulation of cellular processes both in physiological and pathological conditions. Despite the well-established role of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) as blueprint carrier for protein synthesis, the majority of RNAs in mammalian cells are considered non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). These do not comprise encoded information for protein production, but can still harbor the potential to regulate gene expression and protein synthesis. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a recently discovered example of ncRNAs. In contrast to other ncRNA classes, such as micro RNAs, their role in mammalian brain development and neurodegenerative diseases is to a large extent undeciphered.

During her PhD studies, Sabine investigated the function of selected circRNAs in early mammalian brain development as well as characterized the circRNA profile in mammalian models recapitulating the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). From this work, a particular circular RNA influencing neural development of mammalian model systems was discovered. Additionally, the studies shed light on alterations of the circular expression profile in ALS models. Her research findings contribute to the discussion on whether circRNAs could possess regulatory functions in the nervous system.

The PhD study was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Thursday, 23 September 2021 at 14.15
Place: Building 1593, room 012, iNANO Auditorium, The iNANO House, Aarhus University, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, 8000 Aarhus C.
The PhD defence will also be held online. To receive a link to the event, please send an e-mail to Professor Jørgen Kjems, jk@mb.au.dk 
Title of PhD thesis: Deciphering the function of circular RNAs in the central nervous system
Contact information: Sabine Seeler, e-mail: sabine.seeler@biomed.au.dk, tel.: +45 50303996
Members of the assessment committee:
Associate Professor Kristine Freude, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Associate Professor Sebastian Kadener, Department of Biology, Brandeis University, USA
Senior Researcher Morten Foss (chairman), iNANO, Aarhus University, Denmark
Main supervisor:
Professor Jørgen Kjems, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) and Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark
Co-supervisor:
Associate Professor Lasse Sommer Kristensen, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
Due to the coronavirus situation, the PhD thesis will not be available for reading at the offices of the PhD administration. Instead, interested parties may send an e-mail to gradschool.nat@au.dk to receive a digital copy of the PhD thesis. Please note, it may in certain cases be necessary to make an individual arrangement to read the PhD thesis.