In addition to genomic alterations, aberrant changes in RNA regulation represent another mechanism to disrupt the function of critical oncogenes or tumor suppressors and thus contribute to tumorigenesis. MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs which regulate gene expression and have been functionally linked to multiple human cancers. Work by our group and others has demonstrated that RNA transcripts co-regulate each other by competing for shared microRNAs, thus acting as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs). My lab will focus on investigating the role that these RNA:RNA regulatory interactions play in tumorigenesis. Moreover, as several non-coding RNA species have been shown to possess ceRNA activity, we expect that the study of regulatory ceRNA interactions will facilitate the annotation of the non-coding transcriptome. This work will lead to important insights into this previously uncharacterized dimension of RNA:RNA interactions and the discovery of novel oncogenes and/or tumor suppressors, in turn providing potential diagnostic or therapeutic targets.