The University of Western Australia/Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

Archa Fox



Presentation Title


New insights into subnuclear paraspeckles: where long noncoding RNA meets phase separation



Paraspeckles are protein-rich nuclear organelles built around a specific long noncoding RNA scaffold. New discoveries show how paraspeckles are formed through multiple RNA-protein and protein-protein interactions, some of which involve multivalent interactions driving phase separation. Once formed, paraspeckles influence gene regulation through sequestration of component proteins and RNAs, with subsequent depletion in other compartments. Here I will focus on the dual aspects of paraspeckle structure and function, revealing an emerging role for these dynamic bodies in a multitude of cellular settings, including, in particular, cancer.



Dr. Archa Fox is a senior lecturer in the School of Human Sciences and the School of Molecular Sciences at the University of WA, and an affiliate with the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Archa’s PhD was with Merlin Crossley (USYD, year 2000) on transcription factor interactions. Her postdoc was with Angus Lamond (Dundee, UK), where she discovered the paraspeckle, a new type of sub-nuclear body. In 2006 she started her own research group at the (now) Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in WA. In 2015 she took up an academic position at the University of WA. Archa was recently given the emerging leader award of the Australian/NZ Society of Cell and Developmental Biology in 2017 and was awarded and ARC Future Fellowship in 2018.