Services and Research Labs

RNA Core

The RNAcore is supported by CPRIT, NIH and internal funds to provide access to a variety of state-of-the-art technologies and approaches for RNA manufacturing. The RNAcore is staffed with experienced scientists and cutting-edge equipment to generate high-fidelity research- and clinical-grade RNA, including mRNA, modified mRNA (mmRNA), personalized RNA molecules for any desired species with specific modifications, and noncoding RNA. The RNAcore supports both academic groups and startups to attain the near limitless potential of RNA Therapeutics. Learn more.

Dan Kiss Lab

The Kiss RNA Lab is a collaborative group that seeks to better understand fundamental mechanisms in RNA biology and apply those insights into generating novel RNA therapeutics. This group leverages RNA molecular biology tools with both specialized and traditional RNA sequencing approaches combined with long-read sequencing to elucidate how these RNA-mediated changes occur. The main research interests include the molecular biology of cytoplasmic capping and novel RNA therapeutics against COVID19 as well as microRNA-driven cancers. Explore the Kiss Lab.

Keith Youker Lab

The Youker Lab studies the role of the immune system and metabolism in heart failure. Particularly, the lab is interested in inflammation and its role in the progression of heart failure by using combinational approaches including electron microscopy, advanced molecular biology techniques including single cell omics and transgenic heart failure models. In addition, the lab is developing an RNA vaccine for heart failure. Explore Keith Youker’s research.  

Yi-Lan Weng Lab

The Weng Lab explores RNA epigenetic regulation in the adult nervous system, and its therapeutic modulation for neural repair and neurological disorders. They study m6A RNA methylation in regulating RNA trafficking, localization and translation, and the dysfunction of these mechanisms in neurological disorders, using next-generation sequencing, molecular biology and fluorescence imaging to study the epitranscriptomic mechanisms in neural repair and human pathologies during development.  Explore the Weng Lab

Francesca Taraballi Lab

The Taraballi Lab develops nano- and bio- materials, both injectable and implantable, to target the immune system toward tissue restoration. Their innovative nanotechnology platforms and biomaterials for drug delivery and regenerative medicine include biomaterials functionalization to target immune system, synthesis and functionalization of biomimetic nanoparticles to target and treat inflammatory conditions, biomimetic in vitro systems to study complex cancer environments, drug delivery system for the sustained release of proteins, cytokines, antibiotics and analgesics and smart materials development (injectable and implantable) to enhance surgical outcomes. Explore the Francesca Taraballi Lab.   

Biana Godin Lab

The Godin Lab develops physiologically relevant in vitro and in vivo disease models, exploiting physical and biological mechanisms to improve therapeutics and diagnostics. The Godin lab develops advanced nanocarriers for oncotherapies, leveraging physical sciences in oncology and novel strategies to target tumor microenvironment. In addition, they develop nanovectors for improved treatment of infectious diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Learn about the research the Godin lab is conducting.

Shu-Hsia Chen Lab

The Chen Lab elucidates mechanisms underlying the immune suppressive tumor microenvironments, a major impediment to the success of immune-based cancer therapies. They intend to overcome cancer cell resistance to immune and chemo-radiation therapies. They examine the mechanisms of immune suppression mediated by myeloid derived suppressor cells, macrophages, B cells and T regulatory cells. In addition, they examine novel immune checkpoint pathways that influence tumor growth, receptor/ligand interaction and the tumor microenvironment. Currently they are developing novel therapeutic agents that effectively target tumors or tumor stromal cells, increasing local antigen priming and T cell activation/infiltration for subsequent immunotherapy. Explore Shu-Hsia’s research. Explore Shu-Hsia Chen’s research.

Roderic Pettigrew Lab

Through Houston Methodist's collaboration with Texas A&M, Engineering Medicine program, Dr. Pettigrew’s lab at Houston Methodist Research Institute focuses on the study of the mechanisms of aging in the cardiovascular system. Our approach is based on studying the cellular changes that underlie aging through structural analysis of cardiovascular cell structure. By combining engineering approaches and biology, we seek to build models that help us understand the physical changes that underlie aging to develop new therapies. Using this experimental approach, the lab can then focus on develop novel nanoparticle systems that selectively target cardiovascular cells, to correct these age-related physical changes. The lab is also focused on engineering biomimetic lipid nanoparticles to deliver RNA to create the next generation of therapies for other cardiovascular diseases.