Honors & Awards

  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program Award, Burroughs Wellcome Fund (2015—2018)
  • Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, National Academy of Sciences (2015)
  • Poster Award, Gordon Research Conference: Epigenetics (2015)
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), NIH/NIGMS (2014—2016)
  • Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ford Foundation/National Academy of Sciences (2013—2014)
  • MIT Ragnar and Margaret Naess Certificate of Distinction, Jazz Performance (drums), MIT Music and Theater Arts (2012)
  • S. Klein Prize for Science Writing, First Place, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2012)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa Society (2004)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2012)
  • Bachelor of Science, University of California Santa Cruz (2004)

Stanford Advisors


All Publications

  • Rebels with a cause: molecular features and physiological consequences of yeast prions FEMS YEAST RESEARCH Garcia, D. M., Jarosz, D. F. 2014; 14 (1): 136-147
  • Weak seed-pairing stability and high target-site abundance decrease the proficiency of lsy-6 and other microRNAs NATURE STRUCTURAL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Garcia, D. M., Baek, D., Shin, C., Bell, G. W., Grimson, A., Bartel, D. P. 2011; 18 (10): 1139-U75


    Most metazoan microRNAs (miRNAs) target many genes for repression, but the nematode lsy-6 miRNA is much less proficient. Here we show that the low proficiency of lsy-6 can be recapitulated in HeLa cells and that miR-23, a mammalian miRNA, also has low proficiency in these cells. Reporter results and array data indicate two properties of these miRNAs that impart low proficiency: their weak predicted seed-pairing stability (SPS) and their high target-site abundance (TA). These two properties also explain differential propensities of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to repress unintended targets. Using these insights, we expand the TargetScan tool for quantitatively predicting miRNA regulation (and siRNA off-targeting) to model differential miRNA (and siRNA) proficiencies, thereby improving prediction performance. We propose that siRNAs designed to have both weaker SPS and higher TA will have fewer off-targets without compromised on-target activity.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nsmb.2115

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295931400008

    View details for PubMedID 21909094