The RNA Institute offers unique opportunities to researchers and trainees for collaboration and interdisciplinary research. We have more than 50 faculty working to understand the role of RNA in fundamental biological processes, developing RNA as a tool for science and harnessing this knowledge to improve human health.
The RNA Institute is more than just a modern research facility. We are a collection of diverse and talented researchers and laboratories united by a common goal in understanding the role of RNA across different fields, including biology, chemistry, biomedical sciences, physics, and nanobiosciences. RNA forms the basis of our research, it is the common element that we study, build, modify and analyze as well as the building blocks that we use to construct tools, reporters, and therapies.
The RNA Institute News
The RNA Institute Mini Symposium, March 3, 2021
The RNA Institute will host a virtual symposium featuring Noble Laureate, Michael Rosbash, and nine trainee presentations on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 2:30-5pm Eastern Time. Register for the Mini Symposium
Upcoming HVRC RNA Salon January 19, 2020
The Hudson Valley RNA Club RNA Salon will take place January 19, 2020 at 4pm. The speakers will be: Speaker: Serene Durham, RNA Fellow (Mentor: Morgan Sammons) Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, UAlbany Title: Parallel transcriptional networks control the cellular response to stress Speaker: Ute Kothe, Ph.D. Affiliation: Professor of Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge Title: “Connecting the dots: RNA modification, RNA folding and ri- bosome assembly” Join the salon via this Zoom link.
Dr. Alan Chen presents R2D2- a new method for investigating RNA folding pathways
(January 15th, 2021) Dr. Alan Chen, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University at Albany and RNA Institute Faculty member, has teamed up with researchers at Ohio State and Northwestern University to develop a new method to better understand cotranscriptional RNA folding. Each time an RNA is made in the cell, it will begin to fold even before the entire sequence is finished being made. This “cotranscriptional folding” process helps steer the nascent RNA to rapidly adopt the specific conformation required for biological activity.
Belfort Lab Publication highlighted in BioWorld
Researchers from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany have identified small molecules that could inhibit intein self-splicing from the protein PrP8 in the fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii, emerging pathogens that can cause fungal meningitis in immunocompromised patients. The team published its findings in the January 4, 2021, online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The function of inteins is still largely a mystery. But where they occur, they are "most commonly found in proteins that are critical to cell survival, so splicing inhibitors kill the cell," senior author Marlene Belfort told BioWorld Science.
Click Chemistry Enters Clinical Trials
Dr. Maksim Royzen, associate professor of Chemistry and RNA Institute Faculty member, has partnered with Shasqi to develop a click chemistry compound designed to target a powerful cancer drug at tumor cells while sparing healthy ones. This is the first time that click chemistry has been used inside a patient’s body. The treatment has just entered Phase 1 clinical trials. Read full article in Chemical & Engineering News.