Julia Widom

My research will focus on RNA, which performs a plethora of different functions in the cell by folding into specific structures and, often, interconverting between different structures. My lab will use a variety of biophysical techniques, centered around ultrafast and single-molecule spectroscopy, to probe the structures and dynamics of systems ranging from isolated RNAs to large RNA-protein complexes. We will also take advantage of the inherent folding ability of RNA to make nanostructures that position chromophores in specific locations, allowing us to characterize the optical properties that arise from specific chromophore arrangements. RNA is an excellent platform for such studies, because its structure is encoded in its sequence and can therefore be readily programmed and manipulated.