Decorating RNA
for a purpose

Chemical modifications of RNAs allow the dynamic adaptation of organisms to respond to developmental or environmental changes.


At SFB (F80), RNA-DECO 12 research groups in Austria comprising of biochemists, biologists and bioinformaticians jointly aim at understanding the impact of chemical modifications on:

Structure & Function of specific RNAs using different models.

RNA modifications affect


Scientific Advisory Board


October 05 2020

Os­mium is key to shed light on genome organi­zation

Researchers at the University of Innsbruck and the Vienna BioCenter have developed a new method that analyzes the spatial organization of chromatin in a cell. Their recent article in Nature demonstrates how the two replicated sister DNA molecules can be mapped in each chromosome using chemical labeling and nucleoside conversion.

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October 02 2020

1st Annual SFB RNA DECO Retreat

The 1st SFB RNA DECO annual retreat took place at Schlosshotel Mondsee in Salzburg on the 7th & 8th of September providing an overview of current research in the field of RNA especially chemical modifications of RNA.
20200908 115610

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July 10 2020

FWF establishes new specialist research area for RNA modifications

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is establishing a new specialist research area called RNA-DECO. Over the next four years, total funding of over €4 million will be provided to fund a total of 12 research groups, who will study the chemical modification of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Five of these research groups (Walter Rossmanith, Matthias Schäfer, Elisa Vilardo, Javier Martinez, Michael Jantsch) are based at MedUni Vienna. Overall project leader is Michael Jantsch, Head of MedUni Vienna’s Centre for Anatomy and Cell Biology.

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Conformation of sister chromatids in the replicated human genome

Michael Mitter, Catherina Gasser, Zsuzsanna Takacs, Christoph C. H. Langer, Wen Tang, Gregor Jessberger, Charlie T. Beales, Eva Neuner,Stefan L. Ameres, Jan-Michael Peters, Anton Goloborodko, Ronald Micura & Daniel W. Gerlich

Nature volume 586, pages139–144(2020

Thioguanosine Conversion Enables mRNA-Lifetime Evaluation by RNA Sequencing Using Double Metabolic Labeling (TUC-seq DUAL)

Catherina Gasser, Isabel Delazer , Eva Neuner , Katharina Pascher , Karl Brillet , Sarah Klotz , Lukas Trixl , Maximilian Himmelstoß , Eric Ennifar , Dietmar Rieder , Alexandra Lusser , Ronald Micura

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2020 Apr 20

Open Positions

Open Postdoctoral position – Rossmanith lab • open since July 30 2020

The role of modifications in the ‘core’ of human mitochondrial tRNAs

Walter Rossmanith, Ph.D.
Medical University of Vienna
Center for Anatomy & Cell Biology
Währinger Straße 13
1090 Vienna

A postdoctoral position is available in the lab of Walter Rossmanith at the Medical University of Vienna, Center for Anatomy & Cell Biology. The research of the lab is focused on tRNA biogenesis in human mitochondria (http://www.meduniwien.ac.at/wrlab/). The specific project aims to understand the biological significance and structural role of chemical modifications in the tRNA ‘core’ (i.e., modifications outside of the anticodon loop) using human mitochondrial tRNAs as a model system.

A Ph.D. in the biological sciences, and strong expertise in molecular and cellular biology are prerequisites. Moreover, prior experience with RNA modifications, genetic engineering of mammalian cells, and/or NGS technologies is desirable. Ideal applicants should have strong written/oral communication skills, the ability to work effectively in a team and a proven record of research accomplishments. The full-time position is initially limited to one year but extendable for up to four years; payment according to the salary scheme of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) (Personnel Costs).

The Medical University of Vienna ranks among the best of all medical institutions in Europe, and Vienna is consistently rated as one of the best places to live worldwide.

Interested applicants are invited to send an up-to-date CV, a letter of introduction with a concise description of their scientific interests and career goals, as well as of their previous research experience, and provide the contact details of two references, all preferably in a single PDF file, to Walter Rossmanith (walter.rossmanith@meduniwien.ac.at).

Open PhD Position at the Medical University of Innsbruck • open since October 05 2020

PhD position in RNA biology at the Medical University of Innsbruck

Dr. Alexandra Lusser
Medical University of Innsbruck
Department of Molecular Biology
Email: alexandra.lusser@i-med.ac.at

A Ph.D. position is available in the lab of Dr. Alexandra Lusser at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. The laboratory studies gene regulatory mechanisms involving epigenetics and epitranscriptomics. We are seeking highly motivated PhD students to conduct a project aimed at understanding co- and posttranscriptional RNA modification in the context of splicing and mRNA stability. The study involves the generation and analysis of various types of NGS data including RNA-bisulfite sequencing, RNA-seq, TUC-seq and RNA editing data as well as cell-based assays for functional analyses.
The successful candidate will have a background in molecular and/or cellular biology. Expertise in bioinformatics (analysis of NGS data) is a plus. We seek a highly motivated scientist with a strong interest in RNA biology and the ability to work independently as well as in a team. The group is part of the newly established Special Research Program RNA-DECO (https://www.rna-deco.org/) and the candidate will have access to activities offered by the network.
The position is available immediately for 4 years.
The Medical University is located in Innsbruck in the heart of the alps. The city offers ample possibilities for outdoor activities, such as skiing, hiking or biking. Being home to two large universities, social life in the city is strongly shaped by students.
To apply: Please e-mail a CV, a letter of motivation and names and contact information for 2-3 references to: Dr. Alexandra Lusser, Email: alexandra.lusser@i-med.ac.at