Matthew Simon selected as a 2014 Searle Scholar

Matthew Simon, assistant professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and member of the Chemical Biology Institute was selected as one of fifteen 2014 Searle Scholars.

Matthew Simon, right, and graduate student Erin Duffy

The Searle Scholars Program funds the research of outstanding young faculty in chemistry and biomedical sciences. Simon was selected based on his research investigating the functional roles of non-coding RNA. RNA is best known for its role transmitting genetic information from DNA to form proteins, but non-coding RNA does not result in protein formation. Non-coding RNAs are highly dynamic in the cell and interact with many proteins. Previous research has focused on stable and long-lived RNA-protein interactions. Simon and Erin Duffy, one of his graduate students, are using the resources of the Chemical Biology Institute on Yale’s West Campus to develop new technology to track transient RNA-protein interactions.

“We expect that mapping these transient protein-RNA interactions will provide new insight into the function of these RNAs, and how the RNAs are processed and integrated into regulatory pathways in both healthy and diseased cells,” said Simon.

Searle Scholars receive $100,000 per year for three years. The Searle Scholars Program was formed in 1980 and is funded from the trusts of Mr. and Mrs. John G. Searle. Mr. Searle descended from the founder of the worldwide pharmaceutical company, G.D. Searle & Company.