Engineering RNA circuits in bacteria

RNA is a versatile molecule. It is both a carrier of genetic information and capable of folding into complex structures with active or regulatory functions. Biologically, RNA is involved into a large range of fundamental functions such as gene expression, gene regulation, metabolite detection, enzymatic activities, or defense mechanisms.
We develop a set of numerical tools and experimental methods for the rational design of RNA sequences with tailor-made biological functions. We apply our toolbox to the design and characterization of RNA switches (RNA sequences able to regulate gene expression in bacteria).
The goal of the internship is to contribute to this research along one or several of the following axes: design of functional RNA sequences, genetic implementation in bacteria, functional characterization by fluorescence measurements, and instrumental developments for quantitative measurements of gene expression in bacteria.
The actual focus of the internship will depend on the candidate’s interest, the internship duration and the period of the internship.
Key words: link sequence-folding-function in RNA, inverse folding problem, RNA synthetic biology.

Background and skills expected: Basic knowledge and practice in molecular biology; interest and aptitude for precision, engineering and quantitative approaches.

Competences that will be acquired during the internship: Depending on the subject: bioengineering tools, genetic engineering and cloning techniques, fluorescence measurements techniques.