Ryan A. Flynn
Assistant Professor; Pediatrics and the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department
M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University, School of Medicine
B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Life is made up of many different types of biopolymers such as DNA, RNA, proteins, and carbohydrates. The Flynn lab studies a hybrid molecule that we discovered called glycoRNA, which is a conjugate of RNA and carbohydrates (glycans). Unlike other RNA species, glycoRNAs are found on the surface of living mammalian cells which places them in an exciting position to control biological processes such as cell-cell communication, host-pathogen interactions, or cell signaling. In the lab, we develop chemical tools and molecular strategies to detect, characterize, and define the functions of glycoRNAs across a range of biological contexts and conditions. Our long-term goal is to control glycoRNA biology for diagnostic and therapeutic benefit.