Laboratory for RNA Engineering

Overview of our research

RNA engineering for medical applications and nanotechnology is an exciting emerging research field. RNA molecules are polymers made up of four nucleotides: A, U, G and C. Hence, RNA molecules can be designed and manipulated at a level of simplicity characteristic of DNA. However, RNA molecules possess the variety in structure and function similar to that of proteins. The simplicity of RNA engineering combined with its variety in structure and function has highlighted the use of RNA-based strategies for therapy. Furthermore, RNA molecules are candidates for nanotechnology applications due to its diversity and flexibility in structure and function.

Aptamers are molecules that can bind with high affinity and specificity to a wide range of target molecules, and can be generated by an in vitro selection process called SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment). We are developing aptamers for therapeutic agents and nanotechnology.

We are studying the way how RNA molecules work at atomic resolution based on structural biology with NMR and trying to develop the way for rational design of RNA molecules.