RNAs : structure, function and therapy

June 13 - June 20, 2009

Logo06 Aim and scope: The theme of the school, RNAs : structure, function and therapy, falls within the areas of Bioinformatics & Biomedicine, and deals specifically with bioinformatics and biomedical aspects of RNAs analysis. There are four lecture series, each of three hours, a lecture series of one hour, and nine tutorials, each of one hour. The lectures will cover fundamental aspects relating to the study and the analysis of transcription and translation mechanisms and their spatial-temporal regulation. Gene regulatory factors that control the expression of genomic information come in a variety of flavors, with transcription factors and microRNAs representing the most numerous gene regulatory factors in multicellular genomes. Two series of lectures are devoted to RNA interference, with special emphasis on mechanisms of post transcriptional regulation by microRNAs in vivo with case studies from the brain and the involvement of microRNAs in cancer, while the other two are devoted to mathematical, physical and computational methods needed to analyse RNAs. The tutorials will cover the most recent advances in computational methods for RNAs: sequences and structures. Moreover, they will also highlight recent additional results on protein-RNA interactions. Thus they nicely complement the main lectures. As it is clear from the enclosed bibliography, the selected themes have received much attention in the scholarly literature that ranges from Nature to BMC Bioinformatics and Bioinformatics. In its entirely the planned summer school will allow young researchers interested in bioinformatics and biomedicine to be exposed to cutting edge results in the increasingly important area of RNAs analysis in biology.

List of Speakers

  • Carlo Croce
    The involvement of microRNAs in cancer: from research to diagnosis and therapy
    Department of Molecular Virology,
    Immunology and Medical Genetics and Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

  • Oliver Hobert
    Mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation by microRNAs in vivo. Case studies from the brain [abstract]
    HHMI Investigator
    Columbia University Medical Center
    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
    New York, NY, USA

  • Debora Marks
    Micro and siRNA transfections affect the function of endogenous microRNAs
    Systems Biology Department, Harvard Medical School
    Boston, MA, USA

  • Chris Sander
    Pathways regulatory control using RNAi systematic perturbation
    MSKCC - Computational Biology Center
    New York, NY, USA

  • Peter Stadler
    Inside the RNA analysis: sequences, structures and functions [abstract]
    Institut für Informatik Universität Leipzig
    Leipzig, Germany

Guest Speakers

  • Charles R. Cantor
    Detecting specific RNAs in living cells [abstract]
    Chief Scientific Officer/Director/Chairman of the Board, Divisional Sequenom, Incorporated
    San Diego, CA, USA

  • Graziano Pesole
    Gene complexity and Alternative Splicing
    President of the Bioinformatics Italian Society (BITS)
    Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare University of Bari
    Istituto Tecnologie Biomediche del C.N.R.


  • Doron Betel
    Non coding RNAs [abstract]
    MSKCC - Computational Biology Center
    New York, NY, USA

  • Matteo Comin
    RNA-protein interaction [abstract]
    University of Padova, Padova, Italy

  • Raffaele Giancarlo
    Alignment-free Classification and Comparison of Biological Sequences and Structures [abstract]
    University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

  • Christine Heitsch
    Strings, Trees, and RNA Folding [abstract]
    Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

  • Alessandro Laganà
    Tools for miRNA genes and target prediction [abstract]
    University of Catania, Italy

  • Debora Marks
    Principles of microRNAs: genomics, biogenesis, mechanism, and function[abstract]
    Systems Biology Department
    Harvard Medical School
    Boston, MA, USA

  • Alfredo Pulvirenti
    Algorithms for RNA structure alignment [abstract]
    University of Catania, Italy

  • Knut Reinert
    SeqAn, A a generic C++ library for the analysis of biological sequences [abstract]
    Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

School Directors

  • Prof. Alfredo Ferro (University of Catania)
  • Prof. Raffaele Giancarlo (University of Palermo)
  • Prof. Concettina Guerra (University of Padova and Georgia Tech.)
  • Prof. Michael Levitt, (Stanford University)

  • Dr. Rosalba Giugno (co-director, University of Catania)
  • Dr. Alfredo Pulvirenti (co-director, University of Catania)