Ryan Ard

Ryan Ard


Primary fields of research

Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genomics

Current research

Organisms must respond favourably to changing environments. Solutions to these challenges are instructed in genomic DNA. Curiously, large sections of DNA in diverse organisms ranging from yeast to plants and animals do not actually code for protein. The biological significance of all this non-coding DNA is still unclear and the subject of ongoing debate. Interestingly, recent studies have demonstrated that non-coding regions of genomes show evidence of widespread and highly dynamic transcription that can be responsive to environmental changes. Since overlapping coding/non-coding transcription units have a tendency to impinge on the activity of one another, pervasive non-coding transcription implies complex new layers and mechanisms of gene regulation yet to be fully explored.

My current postdoctoral research in the Marquardt lab is supported by an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship and involves elucidating the scale and dissecting the molecular mechanism(s) of gene regulation by pervasive non-coding transcription in a higher organism (Arabidopsis thaliana). To this end, I use a combination of molecular, biochemical, genetic, and genomic tools.


Teaching assistant for "Experimental Molecular Biology", University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Former Teaching assistant for "The Dynamic Cell" and "Molecules, Genes, and Cells" at the University of Edinburgh, UK as well as "Genetics" and "Intro. to Molecular Biology" at the University of Windsor, Canada.

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