Rick Russell

  • Professor
  • Associate Chair for Graduate Education
  • Lorene Morrow Kelley Endowed Faculty Fellowship Fund
  • Molecular Biosciences
Profile image of Rick Russell

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, Genetics & Genomics

Centers and Institutes

  • Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Programs


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