Structured Nucleic Acids Day

April 18, 2023 (Tuesday)
1:00 – 5:00 PM
Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library
Penn State University Park campus

Sponsored by the Robert Simpson and Sons Lecture Fund and by the Center for Medical Genomics

diagram showing pros and cons, and some of the fields impacted

We are delighted to invite you to a half-day symposium on Structured (non-canonical) Nucleic Acids, 'the blessing and the curse' of the genome. Research over the last decade has clearly demonstrated that Structured Nucleic Acids form in living cells, are ubiquitous across the tree of life, and are important for multiple cellular processes. Non-canonical (non-B) DNA forms transiently (at 13% of the human genome, for example!) and is involved in regulation of replication, transcription, and translation. Structured RNA is also emerging as an important modulator of vital molecular functions, in plants in particular. The program of the symposium will include invited talks about the central and essential role of Structured Nucleic Acids in plants and animals, including humans. Applications to human diseases, agriculture, and evolution will be covered.



1:00 Kateryna Makova (Department of Biology, PSU)
Tutorial on structured nucleic acids
1:30 Phil Bevilacqua (Department of Chemistry, PSU)
Roles for charged bases and tautomers in RNA and DNA structure
1:45 Sally Assmann (Department of Biology, PSU)
Sensing the environment through RNA structure
2:00 Ilias Georgakopoulos-Soares (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Penn State College of Medicine)
The roles of non-B DNA structures in promoter activity and splicing regulation
2:15 Kristin Eckert (Department of Pathology, Penn State College of Medicine)
Interplay of DNA polymerases and DNA secondary structures on the road to genome instability

.... [half-hour break] ....

3:00 Keynote: Robert Simpson and Sons Lecture in Molecular Medicine
Karen Vasquez (Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Texas)
Novel Mechanisms of Genetic Instability in Cancer

  Reception immediately to follow, at the Garden Room of the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center

We hope that you are able to join us for this exciting scientific event. 

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