The Russell lab studies structured nucleic acids (RNAs and DNAs) and enzymes that interact with and manipulate these structures. Current research topics are:
RNA folding: How do structural elements interact to form complex, higher-order RNA structures?
RNA helicases: How do helicase proteins function to chaperone folding of RNAs?
CRISPR-Cas enzymes: How do CRISPR-Cas endonucleases target a specific DNA sequence by unwinding DNA to allow base pairing with a guide RNA?
G-quadruplexes: How stable are these structures and how are they disrupted by specialized RNA helicase proteins?