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Cambridge Immunology Network



Eric Miska is this year's winner of the BSCB Hooke Medal

We are interested in all aspects of gene regulation by regulatory RNA, including the role of RNAi in host pathogen interaction.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a large class of short non-coding RNAs found in many plants and animals, often act to inhibit gene expression post-transcriptionally. Approximately 3% of all known human genes encode miRNAs. Important functions for miRNAs in animal development and physiology are emerging. A number of miRNAs have been directly implicated in human disease.  Caenorhabditis elegans is the simplest laboratory organism that expresses miRNAs, endo-siRNAs and piRNAs. Both miRNAs and RNAi were discovered in C. elegans. We have generated loss-of-function mutations in almost all of the 112 known miRNA genes in this nematode.

RNAi in host pathogen interactions

Together with our collaborators Marie-Anne Felix and Dave Wang we recently discovered the first virus to naturally infect C. elegans. We are using this virus to study virus host interactions in the laboratory and in natural isolates of C. elegans.


Key publications: 

Mok Y, Schwierzeck V, Thomas D, Vigorito E, Rayner T, Jarvis L, Prosser H, Bradley A, Withers D, Mårtensson I, Corcoran L, Blenkiron C, Miska E, Lyons PA, Smith KGC. MiR-210 is induced by Oct-2, regulates B-cells and inhibits autoantibody production. Journal of Immunology; 2013 Sep 15;191:3037-48

Lehrbach NJ, Castro C, Murfitt KJ, Abreu-Goodger C, Griffin JL, Miska EA. Post-developmental microRNA expression is required for normal physiology, and regulates aging in parallel to insulin/IGF-1 signaling in C. elegans. RNA. 2012 Dec;18(12):2220-35.

Ashe A, Sapetschnig A, Weick EM, Mitchell J, Bagijn MP, Cording AC, Doebley AL, Goldstein LD, Lehrbach NJ, Le Pen J, Pintacuda G, Sakaguchi A, Sarkies P, Ahmed S, Miska EA. piRNAs can trigger a multigenerational epigenetic memory in the germline of C. elegans. Cell. 2012 Jul 6;150(1):88-99.

Bagijn MP, Goldstein LD, Sapetschnig A, Weick EM, Bouasker S, Lehrbach NJ, Simard MJ, Miska EA. Function, targets, and evolution of Caenorhabditis elegans piRNAs. Science. 2012 Aug 3;337(6094):574-8.

Félix MA, Ashe A, Piffaretti J, Wu G, Nuez I, Bélicard T, Jiang Y, Zhao G, Franz CJ, Goldstein LD, Sanroman M, Miska EA, Wang D. Natural and experimental infection of Caenorhabditis nematodes by novel viruses related to nodaviruses. PLoS Biol. 2011 Jan 25;9(1):e1000586. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000586.

Lehrbach NJ, Miska EA. Regulation of pre-miRNA processing. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2010;700:67-75.

Miska EA. MicroRNAs--keeping cells in formation. Nat Cell Biol. 2008 May;10(5):501-2.

Professor Eric  Miska
Takes PhD students
Not available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
animal models