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Eriks Rozners

Dr. Eriks Rozners

Professor, Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry
and Department Chair

  • Degree in Chemical Engineering (equivalent of BS) with
    honors, Riga Technical University, Latvia, 1990
  • Doctor of Chemistry (equivalent of PhD) in Organic Chemistry,
    Riga Technical University, Latvia, 1993
Smart Energy bldg - room 1021
Web page:

Research Interests:

Our research interests are in the chemistry and biochemistry of nucleic acids with a focus on elucidation of RNA’s structure and function. The research philosophy is to use organic chemistry as the enabling discipline to create unique model systems and tools for fundamental studies and practical applications in nucleic acid biochemistry, biophysics and biomedicine. The current projects include design, synthesis, and biophysical exploration of RNA analogs having non-phosphorous internucleoside linkages and development of novel RNA binders for biomedical applications.

For more information, please see a recent Discover-e story at 

Recent Selected Publications:

Hardcastle, T.; Novosjolova, I.; Kotikam, V., Cheruiyot, S. K.; Mutisya, D.; Kennedy, S. D.; Egli, M., Kelley, M. L.; Smith, Anja van B.; Rozners, E. A Single Amide Linkage in the Passenger Strand Suppresses Its Activity and Enhances Guide Strand Targeting of siRNAs. ACS Chem. Biol. 2018, 13, 533–536.

Hnedzko, D.; McGee, D. W.; Karamitas, Y. A.; Rozners, E. Sequence-selective recognition of double-stranded RNA and enhanced cellular uptake of cationic nucleobase and backbone-modified peptide nucleic acids. RNA 2017, 23, 58-69.

Endoh, T.; Hnedzko, D.; Rozners, E. Sugimoto, N. Nucleobase-modified PNA suppresses translation by forming triple helix with a hairpin structure in mRNA in vitro and in cells. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 2016, 55, 899-903.

Mutisya, D.; Selvam, C.; Lunstad, B. D.; Pallan, P. S.; Haas, A.; Leake, D.; Egli, M.; Rozners, E. Amides Are Excellent Mimics of Phosphate Internucleoside Linkages and Are Well Tolerated in Short Interfering RNAs. Nucleic Acid Res. 2014, 42, 6542–6551.

Muse, O.; Zengeya, T.; Mwaura, J.; Hnedzko, D.; McGee, D. W.; Grewer, C. T.; Rozners, E., Sequence Selective Recognition of Double-Stranded RNA at Physiologically Relevant Conditions Using PNA-Peptide Conjugates. ACS Chem. Biol. 2013, 8, 1683-1686.

Zengeya, T.; Gupta, P.; Rozners, E. Triple Helical Recognition of RNA Using 2-Aminopyridine-Modified PNA at Physiologically Relevant Conditions. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 12593-12596.

Selvam, C.; Thomas, S.; Abbott, J.; Kennedy, S. D.; Rozners, E. Amides Are Excellent Mimics of Phosphate Linkages in RNA. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 2068-2070.

Li, M.; Zengeya, T.; Rozners, E. Short Peptide Nucleic Acids Bind Strongly to Homopurine Tract of Double Helical RNA at pH 5.5. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 8676-8681

Kolarovic, A.; Schweizer, E.; Greene, E.; Gironda, M.; Pallan, P. S.; Egli, M.; Rozners, E. Interplay of Structure, Hydration and Thermal Stability in Formacetal Modified Oligonucleotides: RNA May Tolerate Nonionic Modifications Better than DNA. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 14932-14937.

Last Updated: 2/5/19