Lecture Details

SLAC Public Lecture Series

Past Lecture

Revolutionary 3-D Views of Viral RNA Using Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Rachael Kretsch
Thursday, April 07, 2022 05:00 pm
Public Lecture: RNA structure
Description: 

Join us on Zoom (passcode 650650)

SARS-Cov-2 and other RNA viruses are formidable natural foes of humanity. To fight them, we must understand them better, especially their main component, RNA. Although we can sequence viral RNAs to learn their chemical structure, many details of their function depend on their 3-D shape and how this shape helps them fit into a cell’s molecular engines. These structural details were difficult to obtain by traditional methods, but we are now making them visible through a rapidly improving technique called cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Cryo-EM has now solved the structure of many RNAs, including important regions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s RNA. In this lecture, I will display some of these revolutionary images of viral RNA and explain how we can use this knowledge to combat these lethal pathogens.

The lecture is one hour long, followed by Q&A.

About the Speaker:

Rachael Kretsch is a graduate student in biophysics and a Bio-X Bowes Fellow at Stanford University. She works with Professor Rhiju Das, an expert in RNA structure, and Professor Wah Chiu, an expert in imaging biology with cryo-EM, to advance our understanding of how RNAs function by solving their structures. Her particular focus is on the structure and activity of viral RNAs. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology and legal studies from Harvey Mudd College in 2018 and master’s degree in science and security from King’s College London in 2019. She is passionate about communicating science to others, especially to students who will make up the next generation of scientists.

Rachael Kretsch is a graduate student in biophysics and a Bio-X Bowes Fellow at Stanford University. She works with Professor Rhiju Das, an expert in RNA structure, and Professor Wah Chiu, an expert in imaging biology with cryo-EM, to advance our understanding of how RNAs function by solving their structures. Her particular focus is on the structure and activity of viral RNAs. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology and legal studies from Harvey Mudd College in 2018 and master’s degree in science and security from King’s College London in 2019. She is passionate about communicating science to others, especially to students who will make up the next generation of scientists.