The functions of RNA include coding (for protein, RNA, and DNA), gene regulation, catalysis, and immunomodulation. The overall goal of Gang CHEN research group is to better understand the structures and the physical-chemical properties of RNAs and RNA-ligand complexes to provide deeper insight into and to facilitate precise control of the diverse biological functions involving RNA. The research areas of current interests are: (1) characterizing the molecular recognition interactions (e.g., hydrogen bonding and aromatic base stacking) accounting for structure, stability, and dynamics of RNA structural building blocks such as internal loops, hairpins, triplexes, and pseudoknots, (2) probing the complex energy landscapes of RNA folding and assembly with protein, and (3) designing and discovering therapeutic ligands (small molecules, oligonucleotides, peptides, peptide nucleic acid, etc.) targeting RNA.

We employ various conventional and cutting-edge biophysical and biochemical techniques including laser optical tweezers, NMR, UV-Vis, fluorescence, SPR, gel electrophoresis, PCR, chemical synthesis of modified oligonucleotides and peptides, in vitro transcription, and protein expression. The research experience in the laboratory will help the students to grasp fundamental knowledge and experimental skills, to develop learning skills such as rigorous reasoning and innovative thinking, and to be able to ask and answer important questions within and beyond chemical and molecular sciences.


Scientific Ethics

Deming Circle