The main areas of our research are: DNA sequencing and assembling (including design of algorithms for the NGS sequencers); protein structure analysis; RNA structure analysis and prediction (including automatic tertiary structure prediction tool); nanotechnology and DNA computing.
Recognition of the importance of RNA in many biological processes has increased dramatically in the recent years. The discoveries of non-coding regulatory RNA and RNA interference have involved a broad line of disciplines. The discovery of catalytic activity by RNA (Cech, 1990; Cech,1993) has stimulated speculation that life may have originated through the formation and evolution of RNA molecules. This hypothesis, dubbed the "RNA World" (Gilbert, 1986), has invalidated the apparent monopoly of proteins as biological catalysts and changed the view on their role in the early stages of evolution.
Regarding RNA functional variety as well as its quick degradation under in vitro conditions, studying the structures of these molecules proved to be more difficult than the examination of proteins and deoxyribonucleic acids.
In our bioinformatic group, we take the challenge of RNA study and we conduct the research related to the following topics:
- RNA structure modeling (RNAComposer)
- Structural databases (RNA FRABASE)
- RNA structure comparison and quality analysis (MCQ4Structures, RNAlyzer, RNAssess)
- RNA annotation and pseudoknot classification (RNApdbee)
- RNA degradation
- Viral infection modeling
- NMR analysis of RNA structure.
The most important computational tools developed by the group for RNA analysis can be directly accessed from RNApolis portal.