Rick Russell

  • Professor
  • Molecular Biosciences

Contact Information


The Russell lab studies structured nucleic acids (RNAs and DNAs) and enzymes that interact with and manipulate these structures. Current research topics are:

RNA folding: How do structural elements interact to form complex, higher-order RNA structures?

RNA helicases: How do helicase proteins function to chaperone folding of RNAs?

CRISPR-Cas enzymes: How do CRISPR-Cas endonucleases target a specific DNA sequence by unwinding DNA to allow base pairing with a guide RNA?

RNA and DNA G-quadruplexes: How stable are these structures and how are they disrupted by specialized helicase proteins?

Research Areas

  • Molecular Biology or Genetics

Fields of Interest

  • Molecular Biology and Genetics

Centers and Institutes

  • Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Programs


  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University (1997)
  • B.A., Earlham College (1991)