Infections are an intricate interplay between hosts and pathogens involving dynamic changes in gene expression. This does not only involve changes in the expression of protein coding genes but also of large diverse groups of non-coding RNAs in the host and pathogens. However, in the vast majority of cases the biological roles and mechanisms of action of non-coding RNAs remain unclear. Given the current focus and emerging importance of non-coding RNAs in virulence and immunity this course aims to provide training on the molecular techniques needed to understand their mechanisms and functions in both pathogen and host cells.

The EMBO Practical Course will focus on both theoretical and practical approaches to study non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and RNA-binding proteins in eukaryotic and bacterial cells. The lectures from leading experts in the field will introduce the role of ncRNAs and RNA-binding proteins during infection, including small and long non-coding RNAs in both the host and pathogen. The lectures will also cover the basic principles of RNA bioinformatics, RNA-sequencing, RNA structure analysis, identification of small RNAs, and methods for studying their functions and mechanisms, as well as emerging topics such as RNA-localization technologies. The EMBO Practical Course is suitable for researchers with little previous experience in RNA work. It will cover the different topics related with basic techniques for studying eukaryotic and prokaryotic RNAs, including:

  • RNA isolation methods
  • RNA quality control
  • RNA-protein binding assays
  • RNA expression profiling using qRT-PCR
  • global transcriptome analysis using deep sequencing
  • methods for the characterization of non-coding RNA targets





Institute for Molecular Infection Biology,

University of Würzburg,



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