Seth Kelly, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biology & Neuroscience

The College of Wooster

Office: Rubbermaid 118

Phone: 330.263.2053


Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

The College of Wooster

Department of Biology
1189 Beall Avenue,

Wooster, OH 44691

Additional Websites



B.S., Molecular Biology, Grove City College, Grove City, PA, 2003
Ph.D., Biochemistry, Cell & Developmental Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 2009
Postdoctoral Fellow, Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine, 2009-2010
FIRST Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine, 2010-2013


Intellectual disability (commonly referred to as mental retardation) has a variety of causes, both genetic and environmental. We have recently identified mutations within the human gene encoding the polyadenosine RNA binding protein, ZC3H14, which cause a particular form of intellectual disability. My research investigates the role of dNab2, the Drosophila melanogaster ZC3H14 orthologue, in neuronal function including learning and memory.


Kelly, S.M., Bienkowski, R., Banerjee, A., Melicharek, D.J., Brewer, Z.A., Marenda, D.R., Corbett, A.H., Moberg, K.H. (2016) The Drosophila ortholog of the Zc3h14 RNA binding protein acts within neurons to pattern axon projection in the developing brain. Dev Neurobiol. 76(1):93-106. PMCID: PMC4644733 

Gross, C., Chang, C.W., Kelly, S.M., Bhattacharya, A., McBride, S.M., Danielson, S.W., Jiang, M.Q., Chan, C.B., Ye, K., Gibson, J.R., Klann, E., Jongens, T.A., Moberg, K.H., Huber, K.M., Bassell, G.J. (2015) Increased Expression of the PI3K Enhancer PIKE Mediates Deficits in Synaptic Plasticity and Behavior in Fragile X Syndrome. Cell Rep. 11(5):727-36. PMCID: PMC4418204 

Kelly, S.M., Leung, S.W., Pak, C., Banerjee, A., Moberg, K.H., Corbett, A.H. (2014) A conserved role for the zinc finger polyadenosine RNA binding protein, ZC3H14, in control of poly(A) tail length. RNA. 20:681-8. PMCID: PMC3988569 

Ray, D., Kazan, H., Cook, K.B., Weirauch, M.T., Najafabadi, H.S., Li, X., Gueroussov, S., Albu, M., Zheng, H., Yang, A., Na, H., Irimia, M., Matzat, L.H., Dale, R.K., Smith, S.A., Yarosh, C.A., Kelly, S.M., Nabet, B., Mecenas, D., Li, W., Laishram, R.S., Qiao, M., Lipshitz, H.D., Piano, F., Corbett, A.H., Carstens, R.P., Frey, B.J., Anderson, R.A., Lynch, K.W., Penalva, L.O., Lei, E.P., Fraser, A.G., Blencowe, B.J., Morris, Q.D., Hughes, T.R. (2013) A compendium of RNA-binding motifs for decoding gene regulation. Nature. 499:172-7. PMCID: PMC3929597 

Kelly, S.M., Pak, C., Garshasbi, M., Kuss, A., Corbett, A.H., Moberg, K.H. (2012) New kid on ID block: Neural functions of the Nab2/ZC3H14 class of Cys3His tandem zinc finger poly(A) RNA binding proteins. RNA Biology. 9:555-62. PMCID: PMC3495735 

Brockman, C., Soucek, S., Kuhlmann, S., Lujan, K.M., Kelly, S.M., Yang, J., Iglesias, N., Stutz, R., Corbett, A.H., Neuhaus, D., Stewart, M. (2012) Structural basis for polyadenosine-RNA binding by Nab2 Zn fingers and its function in mRNA nuclear export. Structure. 20(6): 1007-1018. PMCID: PMC3384006 

Pak, C., Garshasbi, M., Kahrizi, K., Gross, C., Apponi, L.H., Noto, J.J., Kelly, S.M., Leung, S.W., Tzschach, A., Behjati, F., Abedini, S.S., Mohseni, M., Jensen, L.R., Hu, H., Huang, B., Stahley, S.N., Liu, G., Williams, K.R., Burdick, S., Feng, Y., Sanyal, S., Bassell, G.J., Ropers, H.H., Najmabadi, H., Corbett, A.H., Moberg, K.H., Kuss, A.W. (2011) Mutation of the conserved polyadenosine RNA binding protein, ZC3H14/dNab2, impairs neural function in Drosophila and humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 108(30):12390-5. PMCID: PMC3145741 

Kelly, S.M., Leung, S.W., Apponi, L.H., Bramley, A.M., Tran, E.J., Chekanova, J.A., Wente, S.R., Corbett, A.H. (2010) Recognition of polyadenosine RNA by the zinc finger domain of nuclear poly(A) RNA-binding protein 2 (Nab2) is required for correct mRNA 3'-end formation. J Biol Chem. 285(34):26022-32. PMCID: PMC2924000 

Kelly, S.M., Corbett, A.H. (2009) Messenger RNA export from the nucleus: a series of molecular wardrobe changes. Traffic. 10(9):1199-208. Epub 2009 Jun 27. Review. PMCID: PMC3702165 

Grant, R.P., Marshall, N.J., Yang, J.C., Fasken, M.B., Kelly, S.M., Harreman, M.T., Neuhaus, D., Corbett, A.H., Stewart, M. (2008) Structure of the N-terminal Mlp1-binding domain of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mRNA-binding protein, Nab2. J Mol Biol. 376(4):1048-59. PMCID: PMC2728203 

Apponi, L.H., Kelly, S.M., Harreman, M.T., Lehner, A.N., Corbett, A.H., Valentini, S.R. (2007) An interaction between two RNA binding proteins, Nab2 and Pub1, links mRNA processing/export and mRNA stability. Mol Cell Biol. 27(18):6569-79. PMCID: PMC2099604

Kelly, S.M., Pabit, S.A., Kitchen, C.M., Guo, P., Marfatia, K.A., Murphy, T.J., Corbett, A.H., Berland, K.M. (2007) Recognition of polyadenosine RNA by zinc finger proteins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104(30):12306-11. PMCID: PMC1941466