• The University of Western Australia (M309), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

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Personal profile

Biography

Archa Fox is Associate Professor in the School of Human Sciences and the School of Molecular Sciences at the University of Western Australia, and an affiliate investigator with the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Archa studied her Bachelor of Science at the University of New South Wales, majoring in molecular genetics. She went on to study her PhD at the University of Sydney (awarded in the year 2000) and carried out her postdoctoral research in Dundee, Scotland. There she learnt to combine cell biology and microscopy with molecular biology. In 2006, she started her own research group at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, now known as the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. In 2015 she took up an academic position at the University of WA. She has been the recipient of the Marshall Medal of the Harry Perkins Institute in 2012, and the emerging leader award of the Australian/NZ Society of Cell and Developmental Biology in 2017. In 2020/21 she was a Director of the International RNA Society and has been the Chair of the RNA Network of Australia since 2015. 

Research

Her research in molecular cell biology centres on her 2002 discovery of a new cellular structure, nuclear bodies called paraspeckles. These structures are important in controlling gene expression inside our cells, which malfunction when people develop cancer and other diseases. New treatments can be found for disease by understanding how cells use paraspeckles to regulate the genes they express.

The discovery of paraspeckles has led to further significant research. In 2009 she described the first long noncoding RNA, NEAT1, that scaffolds a nuclear body. In 2015, she showed how paraspeckles are built depending on intrinsically disordered regions of proteins.

Her current research group investigates the paraspeckle as a model system for understanding gene regulation, specifically the role of long noncoding RNAs and protein aggregation. The team works collaboratively with other scientists to study both paraspeckle structure and function.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Industry keywords

  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine and Pharma
  • Health

Research expertise keywords

  • RNA biology
  • paraspeckles
  • long noncoding RNA
  • RNA-binding proteins
  • genome engineering
  • liquid phase separation
  • membraneless organelles
  • nuclear architecture

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