Laboratory of Noncoding RNA

Principal Investigator: 
Benjamin Kleaveland, M.D., Ph.D.

The stunning diversity of cellular forms and functions arising from the same genetic material is largely a result of which genes are expressed and at what levels. Historically, the study of gene expression has focused on protein-coding genes, however, we now know that some noncoding RNA genes can have regulatory functions as well. The Kleaveland lab is fascinated by these regulatory noncoding RNAs—what they do, how they do it, and how they impact mammalian development and disease.

We recently discovered an unusual network of four conserved noncoding RNAs—the Cyrano long noncoding RNA, the Cdr1as circular RNA, and the miR-7 and miR-671 microRNAs—that regulate each other in the mammalian brain (Kleaveland et al., Cell 2018). Building on that discovery, we are currently focused on the following three areas: 1) the molecular, cellular, and physiologic functions of this noncoding RNA network, 2) the mechanism and scope of targeted microRNA degradation, and 3) the post-transcriptional regulation of circular RNAs. Leveraging the reagents and methods that we are developing to study a few noncoding RNAs, we aspire to deorphan the functions of many noncoding RNAs and determine their contributions to human health.

Active Projects

  • Functions of noncoding RNA networks
  • Mechanism and scope of target-directed microRNA degradation
  • Regulation of circular RNAs


PI: Ben Kleaveland, M.D., Ph.D.

Lab Team

Laboratory of Noncoding RNA Team

Additional Key Academic Personnel

Soundhar Ramasamy
Post Doc

Contact Information

Ben Kleaveland, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Weill Cornell Medicine

1300 York Ave
New York, NY 10021

Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6464
Surgical Pathology: (212) 746-2700