Clarkson University professor invited to week-long research conference to speak
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 12:26 pm

POTSDAM -- Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Biology Cintia Hongay was among the scientists invited to a week-long Gordon Research Conference.

The conference was held early in January in Galveston, Texas.

Hongay spoke at a seminar and the conference and had a chance to interact with her colleagues in the field.

“The meeting was very exciting and I was honored that my work was cited,” she said.

As a younger researcher and a minority, she was also awarded the Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority (CSURM) Fellowship to defray the cost of attending the conference.

Her research centers on how RNA affects development, including the switch to cell division, gametogenesis and how the regulation of these processes seem to have a common denominator, the gene (IME4) that encodes an RNA methylase.

Hongay has studied this gene in yeast, Drosophila, and now zebrafish, in collaboration with Biology Professor Ken Wallace’s lab at Clarkson. By investigating this gene in these model organisms she hopes to better understand its function in humans.

RNA governs how the genetic code is expressed, Hongay explained. If the RNA doesn’t function properly, that may lead to uncontrolled cell growth and diseases such as cancer.

Hongay joined the faculty at Clarkson in 2011. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Suffolk University and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Before coming to Clarkson, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass. and a research associate at Harvard. She was also a lecturer at Suffolk and a teaching assistant at Harvard.

Hongay is the lead author in three publications and has earned high post-peer review rankings for them. One of her studies has been cited by more than 270 publications since its release.