Dr. Marina Feric is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State University with a Robert and Peggy Schlegel Early Career Professorship. She will lead a lab investigating the fundamental mechanisms underlying the organization of cells. Her group is part of the Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation. She received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering magna cum laude at the University of Maryland in College Park. Dr. Feric applied chemical engineering principles to the organization of membraneless organelles called biomolecular condensates in her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Princeton University under the mentorship of Prof. Clifford Brangwynne. Supported by a NIGMS PRAT postdoctoral fellowship, she extended her studies to human aging during her postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute in Dr. Tom Misteli's lab.
Honors and Awards
Robert and Peggy Schlegel Early Career Professorship, 2023 - 2025
NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate Training (PRAT) Fellowship, 2018 - 2021
The Feric lab studies how biophysical interactions across multiple scales – molecular, organellar and cellular – contribute to proper cellular organization and how anomalies give rise to age-related diseases. To do so, we take an interdisciplinary approach within the framework of biomolecular phase transitions. With advanced, super-resolution light microscopy techniques and quantitative analysis, we probe the organization and function of biomolecules in droplet-like structures called biomolecular condensates. By identifying the mechanisms by which the cell maintains the organization and activity of its condensates over time, our work will shed light on new approaches to improve human health span and treat age-related diseases.
Feric, M.*and T. Misteli*. "Function moves biomolecular condensates in phase space." BioEssays. (2022). *co-corresponding authors
Feric, M.*, A. Sarfallah, F. Dar, D. Temiakov, R. Pappu, and T. Misteli*. "Mesoscale structure-function relationships in mitochondrial transcriptional condensates." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119.41 e2207303119 (2022). *co-corresponding authors [formerly: bioRxiv 2021.12.30.474545; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.30.474545]
Feric, M. "Droplets take DNA by force." Nature Physics 17.9 (2021): 981-982.
Feric, M.*, and T. Misteli*. Phase separation in genome organization across evolution. Trends in Cell Biology (2021). *co-corresponding authors
Feric, M., Demarest, T.G., Tian, J., Croteau, D.L., Bohr, V.A., Misteli, T. Self-assembly of multi-component mitochondrial nucleoids via phase separation. The EMBO Journal e107165 (2021). [formerly: bioRxiv 822858; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/822858 (2019).]
Feric M.*, Vaidya N.*, Harmon T. S., Mitrea D. M., Zhu L., Richardson T. M., Kriwacki R. W., Pappu R. V., & Brangwynne C.P. Coexisting liquid phases underlie nucleolar sub-compartments. Cell 165(7), 1686-1697 (2016).
*Authors contributed equally
Feric M., Broedersz C. P., & Brangwynne C. P. Soft viscoelastic properties of nuclear actin age oocytes due to gravitational creep. Scientific Reports 5, (2015)
Feric M. & Brangwynne C. P. A nuclear F-actin scaffold stabilizes RNP droplets against gravity in large cells. Nature Cell Biology 15, 1253-1259 (2013).
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