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Dancing RNA: How Molecular Dynamics Explains Function – STIAS Public Lecture by Katja Petzold

STIAS Public Lectures Series

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Register here by 15 November 2022

Katja Petzold, Associate Professor of Biophysics at Karolinska Institute and STIAS Fellow will present a public lecture with the title:

Dancing RNA: How Molecular Dynamics Explains Function

Ever since the mRNA vaccine tackles Covid19, RNA has gained the spotlight. I will talk about how we can understand and manipulate RNA function by looking at its molecular structure and how this wiggles or dances, called dynamics. I will shortly introduce RNA and its structures and how one can look at it with different spectroscopies. Then, we will try to see what RNA dynamics has to do with function and how we can use this knowledge to develop next-generation medicines. Examples will be given on a cancer regulator microRNA and the biggest RNA machine, the ribosome.

Katja Petzold, born in 1981, received a Master degree in Biochemistry/Biotechnology at the Martin-Luther University Halle, Germany in 2005. She received her PhD in Medical Biophysics from Umeå University, Sweden in 2009 working with Prof. Jürgen Schleucher. After that, she did a short postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Gert H. Kruger at UKZN in 2009/2010 and a longer a postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Hashim M. Al-Hashimi at University of Michigan, US, studying RNA dynamics and the structure of RNA excited states from 2010 to 2013. In 2014 she was appointed Assistant Professor of Biophysics at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, where she is currently an Associate Professor. She has received numerous prizes, such as the Wallenberg Academy Fellow in Engineering, the Söderberg Fellow in Medicine, the Future Research Leader grant from the Foundation of Strategic Research as well as this year the Hugo Theorell price in Biophysics. Together with her postdoctoral advisor, she described the first RNA excited states (Nature 2012, 2015). Her group’s research focuses on the study of RNA dynamics of disease related systems, such as ribosomes or microRNA (Nature 2020), even including viruses. Furthermore, we develop NMR methodology for dynamics studies, RNA sample production and RNA in-cell NMR.

For more information, contact Ms Nel-Mari Loock at 021 808 2652 or [email protected]


Date and time

Thursday, 17 November 2022

16:00 – 17:30​

All times are in SAST (UTC+2)


STIAS Wallenberg Research Centre

STIAS, Marais Road, Mostertsdrift

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