Decorating RNA
for a purpose

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

funded by FWF — Der Wissenschaftsfonts


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 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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July 07 2020

Sabrina Summer defended her Ph.D. thesis successfully!

Sabrina Summer from Walter Rossmanith’s lab successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on “YBEY is an essential biogenesis factor for mitochondrial ribosomes”.

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A systematic dissection of determinants and consequences of snoRNA-guided pseudouridylation of human mRNA

Nir, R., Hoernes, T. P., Muramatsu, H., Faserl, K., Karikó, K., Erlacher, M. D., Sas-Chen, A., Schwartz, S.

Nucleic Acids Research 50(9):4900-4916 (2022)

SLAMseq resolves the kinetics of maternal and zygotic gene expression in early zebrafish embryogenesis

Pooja Bhat, Luis E. Cabrera-Quio, Veronika A. Herzog, Nina Fasching, Andrea Pauli and Stefan L. Ameres

bioRxiv (2022) [preprint]

Synthesis of 4-thiouridines with prodrug functionalization for RNA metabolic labeling

Sarah Moreno, Melanie Brunner, Isabel Delazer, Dietmar Rieder, Alexandra Lusser and Ronald Micura

RSC Chem. Biol. 3, 447-455 (2022)

Open Positions

Post-Doc Position • open since August 08 2022

Bioinformatics post-doc position (full-time) to study RNA modification

Institute for Theoretical Chemistry
University of Vienna
Währinger Straße 17, 3rd floor
1090 Vienna
Tel.: +43 1 4277 52738
Email: Ivo.Hofacker@univie.ac.at
Institute for Theoretical Chemistry

We are searching for an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate for a bioinformatics postdoc position.
The special research program SFB RNA-DECO is a consortium of top RNA research labs in Austria investigating RNA modification. You will support the computational side of diverse research projects revolving around RNA modification. The projects will involve, but not be limited to, analysis of next generation sequencing data, RNA folding prediction and simulation, integration of biochemical/biophysical data into folding predictions.
The position is available with immediate start and until March 2024, with possibility of renewal for 4 additional years.
Your profile:
- PhD in bioinformatics, molecular biology, or equivalent
- Hands on experience in next generation transcriptome sequencing data analysis
- Experience in computational analysis
- Programming skills in scripting languages such as Python, Perl, R
- Experience with RNA secondary structure prediction
- Team player
- Good communication skills and command of English
- Excellent organisation skills to manage multiple projects
What we offer:
The Medical University is located in Vienna (Austria), which is consistently ranked as the most liveable city in the world, directly at the heart of Europe. Training and supervision will be provided in association with the RNAfold team at the Theoretical Biochemistry Institute of the University of Vienna. The candidate will have the opportunity to develop and apply analysis strategies and pipelines based on a broad range of data sets generated by the member labs of the RNA-DECO consortium. Employee benefits include full insurance, health care, and subsidized child care. Gross monthly salary is 4,061.50, following the Austrian Science Fund recommendation (https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/research-funding/personnel-costs), and will be adjusted according to years of experience.
Apply now sending your CV, a motivation letter, and the contact of two referees via email to
Ivo.Hofacker@univie.ac.at and Tanja.Rohr@meduniwien.ac.at
Bioinformatics position

Laboratory Technician • open since August 03 2022

Laboratory technician in molecular cell biology for epitranscriptome-research

Medical University of Vienna
Centre for Anatomy and Cell Biology
Prof. Dr. Michael Jantsch
Schwarzspanierstr. 17, A-1090 Vienna
Tel: +43-1-40160-37510
E-mail: michael.jantsch@meduniwien.ac.at
Group Jantsch

A position as a laboratory technician is open in the group of Michael Jantsch at the Center of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Medical University of Vienna. The group studies the impact of RNA modifications on cellular physiology and immunology using animal model systems.
The position involves help in setting up experiments, performing experiments and documenting experiments for scientific publications. Training of students and general laboratory organization will also be part of your job.
We are looking for a person with background in molecular cell biology. Accurate documentation and organizational skills are required. Experience in the handling of mice is of advantage.
We are an international team of 10 students / post docs / technicians.
The position is initially advertised for one year but can be extended into a permanent contract.
If you are interested in this position, please send your motivation letter and curriculum vitae, together with names of potential references to:
Laboratory technician in molecular cell biology for epitranscriptome research

Master Thesis • open since June 03 2022

Master Thesis Position in Small RNA Biology II

Medical University of Vienna
Centre for Anatomy and Cell Biology
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Matthias R. Schaefer
Schwarzspanierstr. 17, A-1090 Vienna
Tel: +43-1-40160-37702
E-mail: matthias.schaefer@meduniwien.ac.at
Group Schaefer

Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are indispensable components of the protein translation machinery. Rather recently, stress-induced and nuclease-mediated tRNA fragmentation has been discovered as an evolutionarily conserved phenomenon resulting in tRNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) with various functions. What is currently impossible is visualizing tsRNAs at the subcellular level, since tsRNAs are not easily distinguished from parental tRNAs by classical hybridization-based techniques.
This M.Sc. thesis project will test and validate a number of novel RNA hybridization approaches tailored to visualize specific tsRNAs both in vitro and in situ using both human cancer cells and Drosophila embryos.
The successful applicant is required to have basic molecular biology skills (preferably experience with tissue culture). The position will be paid with 440 €/month for the duration of up to one year.
Starting date: September 2022
MSc position tsRNA Asymmetry 2