Harvard University, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Cambridge MA, USA
Prof. Craig Hunter received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Oregon in 1984 and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1990. As a postdoctoral at the University of California, San Francisco he studied the molecular mechanisms of the HOM-C or HOX gene regulation and function in C. elegans. He has been at Harvard since 1997 where he initiated studies to identify and characterize proteins that transport RNA between cells and tissues to enable systemic RNAi in C. elegans. Investigating the activity, regulation, and function of these RNA transport proteins in C. elegans and mice is the central focus of his research group.
The discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) in C. elegans was accompanied by the observation that the RNA-induced silencing signals are mobile, spreading between cells to knockdown gene expression throughout the animal and in its progeny. Dr. Hunter was fascinated by this observation and through classic forward genetics identified and characterized the responsible RNA transport proteins and then determined their mechanisms of action. His current interests include pursuing the function of mobile RNAs in animals, which has led to investigations of antiviral immunity, multi-generational inheritance of acquired traits, and transport of endogenous somatic RNA to germ cells.
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