RNA Faculty Spotlight – Aaron Frank, Biophysics and Chemistry

Aaron Frank, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Departments of Biophysics and Chemistry

In order to understand the relationship between molecular structure and dynamics and biological function, the Frank research group seeks to develop and deploy integrative modeling tools to elucidate the structure and dynamics of biologically relevant molecules. We are primarily interested in using our methods to understand how functional ribonucleic acids achieve specific cellular functions.
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Follow on Twitter: @aFrankLab


  • What are your research interests? The design and discovery of antimicrobial molecules.


  • Who/what brought you to science? A desire strong to solve problems that can impact the lives of others.


  • What advice would you give to students who’d like to get more involved in research? First, determine what motivates or excites you, and then, find a research group the aligns with these interests.


  • Are there any opportunities for students to engage in your projects, currently or in the future? Yes, we have a number of undergoing projects that lie at the interface between RNA biology, biophysics, artificial intelligence, and drug design and discovery, and we welcome students who are eager to contribute to our research efforts.


  • What skills would they need, and what could they expect to learn? The one skill that is needed in our line of work is an intense desire to acquire whatever knowledge or expertise are needed to push a project forward. Expect to learn about structure-based virtual screening, generative artificial intelligence, computer coding, and much much more.


  • What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? A professional E-Gamer. Yeah, that is a thing! All kidding aside, I would love to become a psychologist who studies scientific creativity.

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