Heidi Dvinge

Assistant Professor

Picture of Heidi DvingeHector F. DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Building
Room 4260B
440 Henry Mall
Madison WI 53706
Phone: (608) 265-1859
Email: dvinge@wisc.edu
Overview · Publications · Lab Website


B.Eng. + M.Eng., Technical University of Denmark
Ph.D, European Bioinformatics Institute, University of Cambridge
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle WA

Areas of Study

Biomolecular Folding & Interactions
Gene Expression & RNA Biology
Quantitative Biology

Research Overview

Pre-mRNA splicing is essential to all human cells, but dys-regulated splicing factors can act as tumor suppressors or oncogenes across many tumor types. Our previous work has demonstrated that RNA mis-splicing is a common feature of cancer, even in the absence of currently known genetic drivers of splicing misregulation. However, in most cases the causes and consequences of aberrant splicing remain poorly understood. In our lab we study the full spectrum of RNA splicing, from splicing mechanisms to protein isoform activity, to address the following understudied areas:

  • RNA splicing is modulated by a range of spliceosomal proteins and co-factors, but the non-coding components of the splicing machinery constitute an uncharacterized layer of regulation.

  • Splicing changes can be accurately detected genome-wide, but it remains unclear which isoforms are eventually translated, and hence which RNA splice variants to prioritize for functional studies.

  • The function, activity, and clinical implications of individual splice variants remain largely unknown, as exemplified by protein isoforms of key cancer genes.
Our goal is to address these gaps in our understanding of how RNA splicing acts as a disease mechanism, with the ultimate aim of understanding how dysregulation of the transcriptome contributes to cancer initiation, progression and response to therapies, and translating these findings into clinical advances. To achieve this, we use a range of complementary experimental and computational approaches.

Dvinge project summary illustration