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


June 30 2020

Dem Lebenszyklus von Boten-RNA auf der Spur

Forscherinnen und Forscher der Innsbrucker Universitäten haben ein vor drei Jahren entwickeltes Verfahren zur Analyse von Boten-RNA in der Zelle gemeinsam weiterentwickelt. In der Fachzeitschrift Angewandte Chemie International Edition demonstrieren sie, wie mit einem zusätzlichen chemischen Label Produktion und Abbau von Boten-RNA detailliert analysiert werden können.

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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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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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A high resolution A-to-I editing map in the mouse identifies editing events controlled by pre-mRNA splicing.

Licht K, Kapoor U, Amman F, Picardi E, Martin D, Bajad P, Jantsch MF.

Genome Res. 2019 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]

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 PhD Position • open since July 30 2020

Epitranscriptomic regulation of protein translation

Elisa Vilardo, Ph.D.
Medical University of Vienna
Center for Anatomy & Cell Biology
Schwarzpanierstrasse 17
1090 Vienna

A PhD position is available in the newly established tRNA modification group of Elisa Vilardo at the Medical University of Vienna, Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology. tRNA modifications are important regulators of translational dynamics. In this SFB-funded project we aim at understanding the dynamics of these epitranscriptomic marks. We will use cutting edge technologies (including Next Generation Sequencing, CRISPR/Cas genome editing and molecular biology methods) to determine the distribution of tRNA modifications, the regulatory signals controlling their dynamics and their structural and physiological impact. The Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology hosts four research groups organized around the newly established Special Research Program (SFB) RNA-DECO, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). The candidate will work in a young and international environment, and will have access to the training opportunities and activities offered by the SFB RNA-DECO.

Elisa Vilardo, Ph.D.
Phone +43 1 40160 37724

Center for Anatomy & Cell Biology
Fax +43 1 40160 937500

Schwarzspanierstrasse 17
A-1090 Wien, Austria

Highly motivated students with a strong interest in RNA biology and Epitranscriptomics are invited to apply for the PhD position. Please send an up-to-date curriculum vitae, a letter of motivation, and the full contact details of two referees to elisa.vilardo@meduniwien.ac.at until April 15th 2020.

Relevant links:

Open Post Doctoral Position - Jantsch Lab • open since July 30 2020

Impact of A to I editing on other RNA-processing mechanisms

Prof. Michael Jantsch
Medical University of Vienna
Center for Anatomy & Cell Biology
Schwarzpanierstrasse 17
1090 Vienna

The group of Michael Jantsch at the Center of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical University of Vienna is looking for a full-time post-doctoral position.

The group studies the impact of RNA modifications using in vitro, cellular, and mouse models. The open position will be embedded in a national research cluster on RNA modifications. The project aims at understanding the crosstalk and biochemical impact of A to I editing on other RNA-processing mechanisms determining the fate and function of RNAs.

The 40 hrs position is initially limited to one year but extendable to four years. A Ph.D. in biochemistry / molecular biology is a prerequisite. Experience in NGS technologies is of advantage.

For further information on the group see:
Jantsch Lab
Salary is according to Austrian Science Fund postdoctoral payment

Interested candidates, please send a motivation letter and a curriculum vitae to Martina Dorfwirth Reiter at Martina.Dorfwirth-Reiter@meduniwien.ac.at 

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).