Welcome to the Division of Chemical & Systems Biology

Mhlanga Research

Novel imaging technologies including super resolution imaging and automated fluorescent microscopy have dramatically altered the way molecular processes are investigated by cell biologists. Our laboratory uses quantitative imaging to “eavesdrop” on cellular events at the single molecule scale. Our research has focused on understanding how RNA biology and nuclear architecture influence some of the most fundamental processes in cell biology.

Highly reduced, our core scientific questions to which we apply a myriad of tools are: Understanding the fundamental roles of genome architecture and RNA in spatial control of gene expression. We have harnessed the use of pathogens to decrypt this process. Several seminal contributions have emerged from our research including: The development of super resolution microscopy tools (QuickPALM, N​ature Methods​, J​. Cell Biology) and the use of such tools to study higher order signalosomes (N​ature Communications). 

The causal nature of chromosomal contacts orgene kissingon transcription (Cell, Nucleus, Transcription). That pathogens utilize the “dark matter of the genome” (mirRNAs and lncRNAs) to direct host transcriptional and translational programs to avoid apoptosis (Frontiers). Systems biology approaches (DYPFISH) revealing RNA are spatially localized at sub-cellular scale