RNA biology has become an emerging field of great general interest over the last decade, in particular through the discovery of diverse classes of non-coding RNAs and high resolution structure of RNA-protein complexes, which provide new insight on diverse regulatory functions of RNAs. It also became clear that misregulation in the underlying RNA-based networks often causes human diseases, and thus targeting RNA-related pathway provide new therapeutic potentials. To gain functional insight in the RNA world and its relevance for human disease will depend on interdisciplinary collaborations, combining classical RNA biochemistry and biophysics with state-of-the-art approaches of RNA-dedicated bioinformatics and systems biology.
RNA-focused research has been strong in Germany over the last few decades, as exemplified by early and continuous studies on the ribosome and small nuclear RNA-protein complexes. China also has a long tradition in RNA-focused research, including the total synthesis of yeast tRNAAla. Recent progress in revealing the structures of spliceosome at different catalytic stages further exemplified the heroic achievement of RNA scientists in both Germany and China. Given this background, we hope this Sino-German symposium on “RNA biology- from structures and big data to novel mechanisms” could provide a forum for scientists across both countries to share their expertise, exchange novel ideas and initiate fruitful collaborations.
This symposium is the second of the series supported jointly by NSFC and DFG. The main aims for Sino-German RNA symposiums are: First, to cultivate and extend personal friendship among RNA-biology scientists, thereby linking the RNA communities in both countries; Second, to discuss the current state of the art, open questions, and the new perspectives in the emerging fields of RNA biology; Third, to discuss, initiate, and promote Chinese-German collaborations across these disciplines, both on the bilateral level and by creating a larger grant network initiative. In 2016, the first Sino-German Symposium of RNA biology took place in the beautiful castle of Rauischholzhausen, Germany, where 31 scientists from several major universities and institutes came together to share their work and vision. In the November of 2017, we hope the researchers enjoy the creative atmosphere of Shanghai center of interdisciplinary study and the charming city of Shanghai.
Welcome to Shanghai
Symposium co-organizers: Zefeng Wang & Albrecht Bindereif