In recent years our view of DNA storing and retrieving genetic information and RNA solely acting as transmitter of genetic information has been revolutionized. Regulatory RNA molecules play major roles in cellular processes and their precise spatiotemporal expression is crucial for correct cell functioning. We are currently at the very beginning to understand underlying mechanisms of non-coding RNA function and are far from being able to selectively influence these patterns. Approaches emerging from the interplay in nucleic acid chemistry and biology nowadays allow studying the cellular fate of nucleic acids and in particular of regulatory RNA molecules.
Our group develops chemically modified RNA molecules to understand nucleic acid systems in cellular processes and to control nucleic acid functions. Our projects combine classical organic synthesis to obtain complex unnatural nucleotide building blocks and chemical biology approaches to answer biological questions of specific RNA folding and function.