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Dr. Conine works to understand the functions of small RNAs in reproduction, epigenetic inheritance, and development. His research focuses on how small RNAs in sperm transmit epigenetic information to offspring, as well as their involvement in male fertility.
Dr. Colin Conine’s research focuses on the functions of small RNAs in reproduction, inheritance, and development. He completed his PhD in the laboratory of Craig Mello at UMass Medical where he worked on the function of endogenous small RNA pathways regulating thermotolerant male fertility in C. elegans. Dr. Conine went on to complete his postdoctoral training in Oliver Rando’s lab, where he was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow.
During this time, he demonstrated that sperm transmitted small RNAs in mice are able to regulate embryonic gene expression and development in offspring. In the process, he found that small RNAs are shipped from the epididymis to maturing sperm via exosomes, establishing a novel soma-to-germline transfer of epigenetic information in mammals.
In January 2020, Colin joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (Department of Genetics) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Division of Neonatology). His lab utilizes a combination of assisted-reproduction techniques paired with injection of RNAs or genetic ablation of small RNAs in the male germline, followed by single embryo genome-wide molecular techniques to determine the effect of sperm small RNAs on embryonic development and offspring phenotype.
Some of Dr. Conine's notable career achievements include:
- Recipient of the 2014 Harold M. Weintraub Award for outstanding achievement during graduate studies in the biological sciences
- Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Foundation Fellow
- First author publications in Cell, Science, PNAS, and Developmental Cell
Education and Training
BS, University of Rochester, Biochemistry, 2007
PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Molecular Biology and Genetics, 2014
Titles and Academic Titles
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics
Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award for outstanding achievement during graduate studies in the biological sciences, 2014
Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Foundation Fellowship, 2015-2017
Merck Fellow of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, 2017-2018
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program recipient. Renewed in 2015 and 2018