Center for non-coding RNA in Technology and Health (RTH)

The center aims at developing technologies, computational methods as well as experimental approaches for analysis of the mammalian genome for non-coding RNAs in relation to (inflammatory) diseases. The center will focus on developing these technologies to exploit them and the findings in relation to diabetes. The center consists of a number of national and international partners, with the core located at the Faculty for Health and Medical Sciences of University of Copenhagen.

The people in the center cover a range of expertises including computational biology, RNA bioinformatics, molecular models in diabetes, RNA biology, animal models, functional genomics and high-throughput sequence analysis.

Join us

PhD Fellowship in Bioinformatics

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Bioinformatics to commence on 1st October 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Application deadline: 12-09-2017

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Conserved RNA structure in the dark matter

2017-05-14: RTH researchers discover ~500,000 conserved RNA structures (CRSs) in the dark matter of the genome by using an RNA structural alignment strategy of the vertebrate genomes. The discovered CRSs locate near known genes, regulatory regions and protein binding sites. Expression studies, especially a CRS targeting CaptureSeq experiment in human fetal brain, were employed to characterize the CRSs further. Read more in the paper here.

For previous news, see here.



Seminar: 5'UTR Structure and its Role in Transcription and Translation

2017-11-17: Ivo Hofacker, TBI, University of Vienna. The seminar will take place November 17, 13.30-14.15 at University of Copenhagen, SUND/SCIENCE, Building 1-04, Grønnegårdsvej 7, 1st floor library, Frederiksberg C

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For previous events, see here.

Recent resources

Structured RNAs in the vertebrate genome

Data Resource and Supplement

Conserved RNA structures in vertebrate genomes



RNAscClust clusters RNAs taking structure conservation into account



Large-scale prediction of RNA-RNA interactions and siRNA off-targets


Research outset

The human genome, made up of DNA, consists of three billion building blocks (nucleotides) where some regions (stretches) are complete genes. We all carry variants of the genes and some cause diseases. Here, the goal is to investigate the specific class of genes, the non-coding RNA genes, in relation to diabetes. The non-coding RNA (ncRNA) genes can be the missing components in diseases that previously have been overlooked.

Our research goal is to develop technologies for ncRNA analysis and to search for functional ncRNAs in relation to diabetes and other (inflammatory) diseases.

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Recent publications

Translational co-regulation of a ligand and inhibitor by a conserved RNA element
Zaucker A, Nagorska A, Kumari P, Hecker N, Wang Y, Huang S, et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Oct 20.
[ PubMed | Paper ]

Associating transcription factors and conserved RNA structures with gene regulation in the human brain
Hecker N, Seemann SE, Silahtaroglu A, Ruzzo WL, Gorodkin J Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 18;7(1):5776.
[ PubMed | Paper ]