Current Research and Scholarly Interests
->What We Do:
Our lab studies the mechanisms by which cells and organisms respond to genetic change.
The genetic landscape faced by a living cell is constantly changing. Developmental transitions, environmental shifts, and pathogenic invasions lend a dynamic character to both the genome and its activity pattern.We study a variety of natural mechanisms that are utilized by cells adapting to genetic change. These include mechanisms activated during normal development and systems for detecting and responding to foreign or unwanted genetic activity. At the root of these studies are questions of how a cell can distinguish "self" versus "nonself" and "wanted" versus "unwanted" gene expression.
We primarily make use of the nematode C. elegans in our experimental studies. C. elegans is small, easily cultured, and can readily be made to accept foreign DNA or RNA. The results of such experiments have outlined a number of concerted responses that recognize (and in most cases work to silence) the foreign nucleic acid. One such mechanism ("RNAi") responds to double stranded character in RNA: either as introduced experimentally into the organism or as produced from foreign DNA that has not undergone selection to avoid a dsRNA response. Much of the current effort in the lab is directed toward a molecular understanding of the RNAi machinery and its roles in the cell. RNAi is not the only cellular defense against unwanted nucleic acid, and substantial current effort in the lab is also directed at identification of other triggers and mechanisms used in recognition and response to foreign information.
->Who we are:
PI: Andrew Fire, Professor of Pathology and Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine
Loren Hansen (Ph.D. Boston University/NIH Joint Program, 2012)
Joshua Arribere (Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013)
Lamia Wahba (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 2013)
Elif Sarinay Cenik (Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, 2012)
Massa Shoura (Ph.D. Univ. Texas at Dallas, Molecular-Cellular Biology 2013, Bioengineering 2014)
Ryan Bell [Stanford Genetics Ph.D. Program] (B.S. Brown University, 2011)
Becky Xu Hua Fu [Stanford Genetics Ph.D. Program] (B.S. UC Davis, 2012)
Sukrit Silas [Stanford Chemical and Systems Biology] (B.S. Princeton, 2011)
Nimit Jain [Stanford Bioengineering] (B.S. Yale, 2011)
Visiting Scientist (Instructor):
Christian Frokjaer-Jensen (Ph.D. University of Copenhagen, 2008)
Karen Artiles (Ph.D. UC Santa Cruz, 2008)
-> Joining The Fire Lab
We welcome new applicants to the lab.
Prospective postdoctoral applicants should send a resume and summary of research to Dr. Fire (afire <at> stanford <dot> edu), and arrange to have 3-4 letters of reference likewise sent to this address.
Prospective graduate students are encouraged to apply to the Stanford Genetics Ph.D. program (or to any of the biosciences Ph.D. programs): http://biosciences.stanford.edu/prospective/
Rotation Students: We welcome rotation students from any program at Stanford, with Spring being the preferred quarter. Email the PI.
We occasionally have positions for undergraduate researchers in the lab (especially summers, and particularly straightforward for current or incoming Stanford students). Email the PI at the above address.