The Goff Lab at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine studies the establishment of cellular identity during differentiation. How do complex systems reproducibly establish specific cellular subtypes over development? What are the key molecular decisions that affect cell fates? How do these processes go awry during disease? Our group integrates next-generation sequencing techologies with advanced molecular biology techniques to begin to address these broad questions in a variety of specific contexts.
We are particularly interested in the regulatory role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the establishment of cell identity during differentiation. This recently expanded class of regulatory RNA genes represents a foundational shift in how we think about gene regulation, disease pathophysiology, and what it means to be a gene.
We explore these questions in the context of the mammalian brain; an organ system with an incredible diversity of cell types.