RNA Biology

The RNA Biology Track enrols a dynamic network of laboratories that train PhD students to design experiments, think critically and independently, manage projects within their teams and communicate their results. Yet, PhD tracks are not made by concrete walls; you should rather see them as a highway with numerous connections towards other tracks and technology modules. This allows customizing the training contents to the needs of the PhD student.


The RNA Biology Track complements the regular training you obtain while conducting your PhD thesis – your main task in the next years – at the Vienna Biocenter by offering courses covering RNA biology and biochemistry, commonly used methods and soft skills. We have accumulated a large experience in PhD education through the Doctoral School in RNA Biology ("DK-RNA Biology"), which promoted more than 100 PhD students and helped to establish and foster the large Viennese RNA community.

The RNA-Faculty at the Vienna Biocenter consists of both young and experienced RNA biochemists and biologists, who study different aspects of the life of RNA molecules, in different model systems and with a plethora of genetic, biochemical and structural approaches (see Fig*). The transcriptome is the voice of the genome; however, as professional singers educate their voice, the cell educates its transcriptome through a series of physical and chemical transformations, executed by enzymatic and non-enzymatic protein or RNA-protein complexes, to fine-tune the expression of the genes.

RNA research is booming, along with the development of ground-breaking new technologies. For example, we are witnessing a long-awaited structural understanding of many fundamental RNA processing events and the advancement of RNA interference and gene editing methods (CRISPR) to treat so far incurable diseases. Not to mention the rocket-speed development of RNA vaccines!

Please follow the link to meet the strong Viennese RNA community and obtain further information about the courses and activities you will enjoy at the RNA Biology Track in the Vienna Biocenter!

Organizer: Javier Martinez

Short list of activities and trainings

  • Semester course on “Molecular Biology of RNA”. Several Faculty members cover a broad range of topics in RNA biology, from basics to state-of-the-art discoveries. The course is attended by Master and PhD students, but also by Post-Docs.
  • Work in Progress Seminars: PhD students and Postdocs present their projects to discuss with the RNA community. Monthly, together with a recently awarded SFB for RNA-modifications).
  • Coaching in various forms of science communication.
  • Annual Microsymposium on Small RNAs. A well-known, registration-free international meeting with a focus on small RNA biology.
  • Speaker-Student Lunches.