Yunsun Nam, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Biophysics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She is a Southwestern Medical Foundation Scholar in Biomedical Research and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer.
Dr. Nam obtained her undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences, from Harvard College. She received her PhD in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, for her work on the structure and function of intracellular Notch and its activation of transcription complexes. Her postdoctoral work included more mechanistic investigation of nucleic acid/protein complexes, focusing on Lin28 and let-7 microRNAs. She received the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship and the Charles A. King Trust Fellowship as a postdoctoral fellow. As an independent investigator, Dr. Nam was awarded the Pew Biomedical Scholarship, Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, and the Kavli Fellowship.
The Nam lab focuses on studying the fundamental principles governing the folding and interactions of non-protein coding RNAs with other molecules. Their primary research area is exploring how RNA sequence and structure contribute to effective communication with proteins. The group employs structural biology, biochemistry, and cell biology to examine RNA chemistry and architecture in complex with their cognate factors. Their group has elucidated core mechanisms of microRNA processing by Microprocessor and revealed a cryo-electron microscopy structure of the processing machinery in action. They continue to investigate the regulatory pathways of small RNAs involving RNA chaperones, helicases, heme, and long-range interactions. Furthermore, the group also investigates how various modification enzymes recognize and catalyze chemistry on RNAs. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the function and regulation of RNA-protein complexes is helping the Nam lab to open new avenues for comprehending diseases at the molecular level and developing successful therapeutic strategies.
- Harvard Uni-Harvard College (1999), Biocchemical Sciences
- Graduate School
- Harvard University (2006)
- Gene regulation
- non-coding RNAs
- Structure and Function of Macromolecular complexes
- Structures and mechanisms of tRNA methylation by METTL1-WDR4.
- Ruiz-Arroyo VM, Raj R, Babu K, Onolbaatar O, Roberts PH, Nam Y, Nature 2023 Jan
- Dynamic Protein-RNA recognition in primary MicroRNA processing.
- Ruiz-Arroyo VM, Nam Y, Curr Opin Struct Biol 2022 Oct 76 102442
- Cryo-EM Structures of Human Drosha and DGCR8 in Complex with Primary MicroRNA.
- Partin AC, Zhang K, Jeong BC, Herrell E, Li S, Chiu W, Nam Y, Mol. Cell 2020 Mar
- RNA Specificity and Autoregulation of DDX17, a Modulator of MicroRNA Biogenesis.
- Ngo TD, Partin AC, Nam Y, Cell Rep 2019 Dec 29 12 4024-4035.e5
- Structural Basis for Regulation of METTL16, an S-Adenosylmethionine Homeostasis Factor.
- Doxtader KA, Wang P, Scarborough AM, Seo D, Conrad NK, Nam Y Mol. Cell 2018 Sep 71 6 1001-1011.e4
- Heme enables proper positioning of Drosha and DGCR8 on primary microRNAs.
- Partin AC, Ngo TD, Herrell E, Jeong BC, Hon G, Nam Y Nat Commun 2017 Nov 8 1 1737
- Structural Basis for Cooperative Function of Mettl3 and Mettl14 Methyltransferases.
- Wang P, Doxtader KA, Nam Y Mol. Cell 2016 Jun
- METTL16 exerts an m6A-independent function to facilitate translation and tumorigenesis.
- Su R, Dong L, Li Y, Gao M, He PC, Liu W, Wei J, Zhao Z, Gao L, Han L, Deng X, Li C, Prince E, Tan B, Qing Y, Qin X, Shen C, Xue M, Zhou K, Chen Z, Xue J, Li W, Qin H, Wu X, Sun M, Nam Y, Chen CW, Huang W, Horne D, Rosen ST, He C, Chen J, Nat Cell Biol 2022 02 24 2 205-216
- Manipulation by Methylation: Garnishing mRNAs with m6Am.
- Doxtader KA, Nam Y, Mol. Cell 2019 08 75 3 417-418
- Publisher Correction: Heme enables proper positioning of Drosha and DGCR8 on primary microRNAs.
- Partin AC, Ngo TD, Herrell E, Jeong BC, Hon G, Nam Y Nat Commun 2018 Sep 9 1 3852
Honors & Awards
- MAVEN scholar
- Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
- Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
- Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas
First Time Faculty Recruitment Award (2013)
- Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (2013)
- Southwestern Medical Foundation Scholar in Biomedical Research
Endowed Scholars Program, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2013)
- Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
- Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship
- The Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship