PUBlic Professor Series | Dr. Ute Kothe

From the Beginnings of Life to Modern Medicine: Why RNA Matters

Dr. Ute Kothe, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

RNA (RiboNucleic Acid) has been proposed to be the most ancient molecule of life that was present before DNA or proteins. In taking the audience back to the very beginnings of life, Dr. Kothe will first share current hypotheses on the crucial roles RNA played during these early stages of life on earth.

Today, RNA has adopted an ever-growing variety of functions in all living cells and is truly a jack-of-all-trades. Using RNA as the example, Dr. Kothe will illustrate how research in biochemistry contributes to understanding the molecular basis of all living organisms. In particular, she will talk about her investigations of RNA modification, folding and its role during the formation of all proteins.

By studying RNA and its interactions with proteins, Dr. Kothe’s research helps to explain the mechanistic contribution of RNA in health and disease. Importantly, this type of basic research is often the driving force behind innovation such as the development of new therapeutics. Specifically, Dr. Kothe will address the (mis-)function of RNA during an inherited disease and during cancer. Finally, she will discuss promising avenues to target RNA in novel therapies and to use RNA as a designer therapeutic itself.

Even though RNA is a copy of the genetic material called DNA, it will become evident in this lecture that RNA is of fundamental importance in life.

Learn more about Dr. Kothe's research and community outreach efforts here.

ICYMI: Watch the video 

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