Chemistry Faculty

Carla A. Theimer

Ph.D., Texas A&M University 2000

LS 1147
Phone: (518) 591-8875
Fax: (518) 442-3462

Research Interests

Selected Recent Publications

Campus News Stories

Teaching/Training Highlights



Research Areas:

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Structural Biology

Research Interests:

The focus of our laboratory and the primary emphasis of our experimentation is the investigation of RNA biophysics and biochemistry. Specifically, how do the thermodynamic and structural features of an RNA (including interconversion between conformations) influence their biological function and their interactions with other biologically relevant molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, small molecule ligands, monovalent and divalent cations)?

Currently, we are investigating several different RNA systems, including both coding (RNA riboswitches, influenza virus coding sequences) and non-coding RNAs (telomerase RNA, sxRNAs) using a variety of biophysical methods and instrumentation.

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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
Circular Dichroism (CD) spectroscopy
Ultraviolet and Visible (UV-VIS) spectroscopy
Fluorescence spectroscopy
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC)
Native and denaturing gel electrophoresis
Assorted chromatographic separations
Assorted biochemical assays
Bacterial cell culture
Standard molecular biology/cloning

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Selected Recent Publications:

For a complete listing of publications, see here

1. Liu, F. and Theimer, C.A. (2012) Telomerase activity is sensitive to subtle perturbations of the TLC1 pseudoknot 3’ stem and tertiary structure. JMB, accepted. (

2. Liu, F., Kim, Y., Cruickshank, C, and Theimer, C.A. (2012) Thermodynamic characterization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomerase pseudoknot domain pseudoknot domain in vitro. RNA, 18(5), 973-91. (





3. Theimer, C.A., Smith, N.L., and Khanna, M. (2012) NMR studies of protein-RNA complexes. 3rd edition of "Protein NMR Techniques" for the Methods in Molecular Biology book series, Humana Press, 197-218. (

4. Kim, N.K. Theimer, C.A., Mitchell, J.R., Collins, K. and Feigon, J. (2010) Solution structure and function of the pseudouridylated P6.1 hairpin in the CR4-CR5 domain of human telomerase RNA. Nucl. Acids Res. 38(19), 6748-56. (

5. Finger, L.D., Blanchard, M.S., Theimer, C.A., Sengerovà, B., Singh, P., Chavez, V., Liu, F., Grasby, J.A., and Shen, B. (2009) The 3’-flap pocket of human flap endonuclease 1 is critical for substrate binding and catalysis. J. Biol. Chem., 284(33), 22184-94. (

6. Kim, N.K., Zhang, Q., Zhou, J., Theimer, C.A., Peterson, R.D., and Feigon, J. (2008) Solution Structure and Dynamics of the Wild-type Pseudoknot of Human Telomerase RNA. J. Mol. Biol. 384(5), 1249-61. (



7. Theimer, C.A., Jady B.E., Chim, N., Richard, P., Breece, K.E., Kiss, T., and Feigon, J. (2007) Structural and functional characterization of human telomerase RNA processing and Cajal body localization signals. Molecular Cell 27(6), 869-81. (

8.Richards, R.J., Theimer, C.A., and Feigon, J. (2006) Structure of the Tetrahymena thermophila telomerase RNA helix II template boundary element. Nucl. Acids Res. 34(3), 816-825. (

9.Theimer, C.A., and Feigon, J. (2006) Recent advances in the structural and functional characterization of telomerase RNA. Curr. Op. Struct. Biol. 16(3). 307-318. (

10. Theimer, C.A., Blois, C.A., and Feigon, J. (2005) Structure of the human telomerase RNA pseudoknot reveals conserved tertiary interactions essential for function. Molecular Cell 17(5), 671-682. (

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Campus News Stories:

Leading RNA Researchers Partner to Pursue Biomedical
    Technologies at UAlbany.                                                      October 27, 2011            (

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Teaching/Training Highlights:

Shanelle Graham, a University at Albany junior and Biological Sciences Major Text Box:  received a presentation award for the Natural Sciences at the 20th Annual CSTEP Statewide Student Conference, at the Sagamore on Lake George, Bolton Landing, New York, April 14, 2012, for her research in the Theimer laboratory on the stability and structure of terminator hairpin elements in preQ1 RNA riboswitches.

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