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Approved Research

Phenotypic associations with genetic variants that alter microRNA function

Principal Investigator: Dr Kenzie MacIsaac
Approved Research ID: 90136
Approval date: October 12th 2022

Lay summary

MicroRNAs are a class of molecules that play important roles in biology. This proposal is focused on understanding how genetic variation in microRNAs is linked to human disease. Ultimately, we hope that a better understanding of how microRNAs are genetically associated with human traits will lead to the development of drugs to help patients.

We aim to first catalog all genetic variants that alter microRNA function. To accomplish this we can take advantage of methods that allow the effect of genetic variation on the processing, shape, and function of microRNAs to be predicted. Then we will systematically examine associations between these cataloged variants and disease in the UK Biobank to build a map of microRNAs are linked to human health.

We anticipate that this project will require 36-48 months to complete, depending on the nature of any experimental follow up that we engage in. Data preparation, QC, and cleaning followed by analysis we anticipate finishing within 36 months. We plan to publish the results of the analysis to help advance understanding of the role microRNAs play in human health. Our hope is that several microRNAs will emerge from our analysis that are attractive therapeutic candidates.