Speaker: Prof. Prof. Leonard Lipovich

Time: 2:00-4:00 PM, 30 Mar. , 2023

Venue: Room 111, Lynn Library

Reimagined Proteomes To Precision Medicine Via Long Non-coding RNA.

Topic: Reimagined Proteomes To Precision Medicine Via Long Non-coding RNA.

Speaker: Prof. Prof. Leonard Lipovich

Time: 2:00-4:00 PM, 30 Mar. , 2023

Venue: Room 111, Lynn Library


Leonard Lipovich earned his B.A. (cum laude) in Genetics and Development from Cornell University (1998), and his Ph.D. in Genome Sciences from the University of Washington, Seattle (2003). He completed postdoctoral training at the Genome Institute of Singapore, where he discovered the first mammalian lncRNA functional in stem cell pluripotency and discovered the prevalence of primate-specific lncRNAs in sense-antisense gene pairs. Dr. Lipovich joined Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, USA in 2007, as an assistant professor, attaining an associate professorship and tenure in 201,3 and a full professorship in 2019. In 2020, he transitioned to the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dubai, UAE.

In 2014, Dr. Lipovich received the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award. In 2015, he chaired both the Keystone Symposium and the Royal Society meeting on lncRNA. To date, Dr. Lipovich (h-index: 40) has published 80 peer-reviewed papers, delivered over 50 talks, and chaired numerous sessions and workshops at key conferences. His goal is to improve human health through personalized, lncRNA-targeted post-genomic therapeutics.



Two decades ago, the Human Genome Project revealed that 98% of the human genome sequence resided outside of protein-coding genes. In the FANTOM (Functional Annotation of Mammalian cDNA) and ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) Consortia, we helped demonstrate that two-thirds of the ~60,000 human genes do not encode proteins. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes comprise the most abundant, now still poorly understood, class of the human ncRNA genes. We characterized primate-specific, estrogen-induced oncogenic (and estrogen-repressed tumor-suppressor) lncRNAs in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Suppression and rescue, respectively, of these lncRNAs provide new paths toward cancer treatment.  From Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) of type 2 diabetes, we identified and laboratory-validated disease-causal candidate lncRNAs: liver-specific targets for new RNAi-based drugs. As the first to discover, in 2012, rare nonrandom translation of short Open Reading Frames in specific lncRNAs in human cells, we– in 2022 – integrated mass spectrometry with ribosome profiling to show that transcriptional regulation of estrogen-controlled lncRNAs and translational regulation of their ORFs are, surprisingly, discordant. Across these projects, we found that most human lncRNA genes, unlike protein-coding genes, have recent evolutionary origins, lacking conservation between primates and rodents, but nevertheless functional in disease.

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