Updates July 2019

Another year’s worth of updates (2018 through July 2019)!

Keeping up with the lab webpage is a lower priority than keeping up with the actual lab…..


Congratulations to lead authors Brittany Elliot and Hsiang-Ting Ho for an outstanding manuscript published in Nature Communications!  Their work shows that snoRNAs can guide internal 2′-O-methylation of mRNA targets, which then regulates mRNA expression and translation. The target described in our paper (peroxidasin, Pxdn) provides a mechanistic link between the Rpl13a snoRNAs and the regulation of ROS and oxidative stress.

See our Publications page for more updates.

New Lab Members

Hala Abou Assi, PhD: Hala came to Duke in April 2018 after completing her PhD at McGill University in the Damha lab. As a post-doctoral fellow, she has a joint post-doctoral appointment in the Holley and Al-Hashimi labs.

Yinzhou Zhu, PhD: Yinzhou came to Duke in June 2019 after completing his PhD at University of Connecticut in the Carmichael Lab.

Alex Choi: Alex is a Duke undergraduate in the School of Engineering.

Grants and Awards

NIH R01 HL146381 (PI: Holley): The Role of RNA Modifications in Heart Failure

2019 Mandel Scholar Award (PI: Holley): RNA Modifications in Cardiovascular Disease

Translating Duke Health (PI: Holley): Proteomic Profiling of Heart Transplant Donors and Recipients to Determine the Role of Inflammation and Immune Activation in Primary Graft Dysfunction


Jan 2018  Keystone Symposium: DNA and RNA Methylation. Vancouver, BC (Canada). Brittany’s abstract was selected for both a poster and oral presentation, and she also won a travel award!

Feb 2018  University of North Carolina. UNC McAllister Heart Institute Seminar Series: Non-coding RNA, RNA Modifications, and Oxidative Stress in the Heart. (Holley)

March 2018  5th Annual RNA Symposium, RNA Institute at University of Albany: SnoRNA-guided modifications on mRNA. Albany, NY. (Holley)

Nov 2018  Stanford-Duke Cardiovascular Research Symposium: Unexpected biology of snoRNAs in the heart. Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. Award: Best Junior Faculty Presentation (Holley)

April 2019  Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. SnoRNAs and RNA Modifications in Cardiovascular Disease. (Holley)

April 2019  American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Annual Meeting: Modification of mRNA by snoRNA-guided 2’-O-methylation. Orlando, FL. (Holley)

June 2019  Functions of Epitranscriptomes: Modification of messenger RNA by 2’-O-methylation regulates gene expression.  University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. (Holley)

A year’s worth of updates!

A lot of things happened in lab over the last 18 months!  Here are some of the highlights.


Lee, J, Harris, AN, Holley, CL, Mahadevan, J, Pyles, KD, Lavagnino, Z, Scherrer, DE, Fujiwara, H, Sidhu, R, Zhang, J, Huang, SC-C, Piston, DW, Remedi, MS, Urano, F, Ory, DS, and Schaffer, JE. “Rpl13a small nucleolar RNAs regulate systemic glucose metabolism.” The Journal of clinical investigation 126, no. 12 (December 2016): 4616-4625.

Gokhale, NS, McIntyre, ABR, McFadden, MJ, Roder, AE, Kennedy, EM, Gandara, JA, Hopcraft, SE, Quicke, KM, Vazquez, C, Willer, J, Ilkayeva, OR, Law, BA, Holley, CL, Garcia-Blanco, MA, Evans, MJ, Suthar, MS, Bradrick, SS, Mason, CE, and Horner, SM. “N6-Methyladenosine in Flaviviridae Viral RNA Genomes Regulates Infection.” Cell host & microbe 20, no. 5 (November 2016): 654-665.

Holley, CL. “The Challenges of Bedside-to-Bench Research in Pediatric Cardiology.” Journal of cardiac failure 23, no. 1 (January 2017): 81-82.

McCommis, KS, Hodges, WT, Brunt, EM, Nalbantoglu, I, McDonald, WG, Holley, C, Fujiwara, H, Schaffer, JE, Colca, JR, and Finck, BN. “Targeting the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier attenuates fibrosis in a mouse model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.” Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) 65, no. 5 (May 2017): 1543-1556.

Fry, NJ, Law, BA, Ilkayeva, OR, Holley, CL, and Mansfield, KD. “N6-methyladenosine is required for the hypoxic stabilization of specific mRNAs.” RNA (New York, N.Y.) 23, no. 9 (September 2017): 1444-1455.


New Grants and Awards

NIH R03 (PI: Holley) Role of snoRNAs in regulation of cardiac hypertrophy

NIH R01 (PI: Zennadi) Role of RBC Reactive Oxygen Species and Their Vicious Cycle in Sickle Vasculopathy

NIEHS R41 Sub-Award (PI: Agris) Mass Spectrometric Screening of the Effect of Chemical Toxicants on the Human Epitranscriptome during Stem Cell Differentiation

AHA Strategically Focused Heart Failure Research Network (PI: Felker): Duke Center for the Study of Heart Failure and Diabetes

Duke Heart Center Leadership Council Junior Faculty Development Award: Dr. Holley

Duke Health Fellow Award: Dr. Holley

Duke Strong Start Physician-Scientist Award: Dr. Holley

NIH T32 Fellowship: Dr. Law

Secondary Appointment to Molecular Genetics and Microbiology: Dr. Holley


Posters and Presentations

2017 Gordon Research Conference: RNA Editing. Ventura, CA. (Dr. Law)

2017 Duke-Stanford Cardiovascular Research Symposium (Dr. Ho)

2017 Duke Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Departmental Retreat (Drs. Law and Ho)

2017 North Carolina Symposium on RNA Biology XII (Dr. Law, who was awarded the Illumina Prize for her poster!)


Visiting Professor

Paul Agris, PhD


New lab member!

Lab manager:  Xinhe Yin