Natoya Peart

Natoya Peart
Assistant Professor
Location: B1 293A
Phone: 519-888-4567 x41466


Dr. Natoya Peart is interested in understanding how RNA processing and the modulation of RNA processing influences cell fate and contributes to tissue development and disease. RNA processing is a complex multistep process, and these processing events are mediated by the action of RNA binding proteins, RBPs. RBPs are a large diverse class of proteins that bind RNA and mediate splicing, polyadenylation, export, decay and translation amongst other processing events to regulate gene expression. Temporal and spatial gene regulation can be further achieved through tissue specific/cell-type specific expression of RBPs.

Projects in the Peart Lab focus on alternative splicing, alternative polyadenylation and protein-RNA interaction in the context of epithelial cell biology. One area of focus of the Peart Lab is to elucidate the roles of tissue specific RBP, Epithelial Splicing Regulatory Protein 1, ESRP1, in regulating aspects of the mRNA life cycle and how this contributes to tissue development and disease. Previous work has shown that knockout of ESRP1 in mice results morphogenic defects that lead to cleft lip/cleft palate, kidney agenesis, defects in inner ear development and female infertility. We employ a variety of experimental methodologies (including 2D and 3D cell culture, genome-wide and gene specific molecular approaches) to interrogate RNA processing regulated by ESRP1 and how this contributes to epithelial cell integrity - cell adhesion, cell permeability, and cell polarity.

We are seeking outstanding, highly motivated students to join our team to investigate these exciting topics. If you are interested in a potential Honours thesis or pursuing graduate studies with us, please send your CV, transcript and one-page statement of interest to

Research Interests

  • RNA Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


  • 2016 Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, United States of America
  • 2010 B.S Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, United States of America


  • 2021 Johnson Foundation Fellow, Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2021 Stanford.Berkely.UCSF Next Generation Faculty Symposium Fellow
  • 2020 Listed on the Cell Mentor 1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America
  • 2015 Friends of FSH Research Graduate Fellowship
  • 2015 UTHealth McGovern Medical School Dean’s Research Scholarship Award
  • 2013 Schissler Foundation Fellowship for Translational Studies of Common Diseases
  • 2006 Prime Ministers Youth Award for Excellence – Academics. Jamaica, West Indies

Professional Associations

  • RNA Society
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Canadian Black Scientist Network
  • American Society for Cell Biology

Selected/Recent Publications