Keane is one of only 22 early-career researchers to be selected for the program. Keane and other scholars will receive funding for four years to invest in foundational research in pursuit of breakthroughs and advancements in human health.
With the funding, Keane will explore how the structural configurations of large RNAs control the production of smaller, regulatory RNA molecules. Her lab will use techniques in molecular and structural biology, combined with Keane’s own method for monitoring the structure of large RNA molecules, to examine the conformational “switch” that directs to production of microRNAa encoded on large primary transcripts.
“For my lab what this award means is that we can take real chances and pursue these challenging projects that are really difficult in terms of methodology development and other technical challenges that we have to overcome,” Keane said. “It is such an honor to receive support from Pew. This funding will allow my lab to take scientific risks that otherwise we probably wouldn’t be able to do.”