Attraction of the leading scientists to Russian institutions of higher learning, research organizations of the governmental academies of sciences, and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation

US-Russian Laboratory of Biomedical Chemistry

About the laboratory

This laboratory was established as part of a scientific research project supported with a monetary grant awarded by the Government of the Russian Federation under a grant competition designed to provide governmental support to scientific research projects implemented under the supervision of the world's leading scientists at Russian institutions of higher learning (Resolution of the RF Government No.220 of April 9, 2010).

Link to the official website

Grant Agreement No.: 

Name of the institution of higher learning:
Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Fields of scientific research:
Medical Biotechnologies

RNA-directed antibacterial and antiviral drugs based on oligonucleotides

Leading scientist


Leading scientist's full name: Altman, Sydney

Link to the scientist’s profile

Academic degree and title:
Professor, doctor of sciences, doctor of law

Job title:
Sterling Professor of biology, Yale University; professor of chemistry, Yale University

Field of scientific interests:
Biochemistry of nucleic acids, RNA-directed action

Scientific recognition:

Nobel Prize winner in chemistry (1989) for research of catalytic properties of RNA.

In 1983, Professor Sydney Altman discovered that ribonucleic acids (RNA) could catalyze some biological reactions acting in the capacity of a protein enzyme. The discovery overturned the long established belief that RNA acted solely as genetic information carriers and challenged the fundamental biological ideas of the origins of life. In 1989, he shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Thomas R. Cech whose independent research had enabled him to arrive at similar conclusions.

At present, Professor Sydney Altman researches the structure and functions of R-ribonuclease of bacteria and humans and is looking into the possibility of using the activity of R-ribonuclease and the so-called external guide sequences (EGS) – uniquely structured oligonucleotides – to deactivate various genes in bacteria and mammal cells.

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