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We are actively recruiting new graduate students, post-docs, and undergraduate interns! Post-docs applicants should send a cover letter and CV directly to Sean by e-mail. Undergraduate students interested in paid summer internships or academic year internships should send a cover letter and a resume directly to Sean. If you are a Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences student at UMass Chan Medical School and interested in rotating in the lab, please contact Sean to set up an appointment to discuss potential projects.

About the Ryder Lab:

Our workCollection of nematode embryo images lies at the interface of biochemistry and developmental biology. We use quantitative methods to investigate conserved protein-RNA complexes that govern reproduction, focusing on maternal RNA regulation. We employ a combination of biochemical and biophysical methods, genome editing, phenotyping, and live imaging to identify and characterize the key regulatory events that enable successful germline and embryo development.

We are firm believers in the value of interdisciplinary science. When multiple lines of evidence support a developing story, it is more likely to stand the test of time. Good science is not done in isolation. We learn best when we communicate with others who have expertise and experience outside of our own. As such, we welcome collaboration and we love to talk to others about our work. We believe that the primary motivation for doing science is to learn new things. We believe that a diverse team provides perspectives and ideas that are valuable to our research. Our core values include compassion, kindness, respect, and curiosity.

Ryder Lab Research Focus:

Animal embryos receive approximately equal amounts of DNA from each of their parents, but nearly all of their cytoplasm is inherited from Mom. This cytoplasm contains information in the form of maternal proteins and mRNAs that are used by the embryo prior to zygotic gene activation, the point at which maternal mRNA is cleared and the embryo becomes reliant upon its own genome. This maternal load of mRNA is critical to successful sexual reproduction in animals. Maternal mRNAs provide instructions to the embryo to guide early patterning and cell fate specification events prior to the onset of zygotic transcription. Much remains to be learned about how maternal mRNAs are produced, silenced, and reactivated after fertilization. The wiring diagram, the mechanisms at play, and the overall functional significance of individual regulatory circuits within the network of maternal RNA regulation remain to be described. To learn more, please click here.

Recent Publications:

The role of RNA-binding proteins in orchestrating germline development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Albarqi, M.M.Y. and Ryder, S.P.
Front. Cell. Dev. Biol., (2023) 10:1094295.doi:10.3389/fcell.2022.1094295

A nematode model to evaluate microdeletion phenotype expression.

Antkowiak, K., Coskun, P., Noronha, S., Tavelle, D., Massi, F., and Ryder, S.P.
bioRxiv 2022.11.09.515676.

Preprint: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.11.09.515676

The endogenous mex-3 3’UTR is required for germline repression and contributes to optimal fecundity in C. elegans.

Albarqi, M.M.Y. and Ryder S.P.
PLOS Genet. (2021) Aug 23;17(8):e1009775. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009775.

Analysis of emerging variants in structured regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

Ryder, S.P., Morgan B., Coskun, P., Antkowiak, K.A., and Massi F. (2021)
Evol. Bioinform. May 5;17:11769343211014167. doi: 10.1177/11769343211014167. eCollection 2021.

A disorder-to-order transition mediates RNA-binding of the Caenorhabditis elegans protein MEX-5.

Tavella, D., Ertekin, A, Schaal, H, Ryder, S.P., and Massi, F. 
Biophys J. (2020) 118, 2001-2014.


Sean Ryder, Ph.D. (he/him)
Professor and Vice Chair for Outreach

Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology
UMass Chan Medical School
364 Plantation Street LRB-906
Worcester, MA, 01605

Office (LRB-906)
Lab (LRB-970W,X)