Kirill Afonin, Ph.D.

Kirill Afonin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Burson 136
704-687-0685
Field of Interest: 
RNA Nanobiology and Drug Delivery
Research Focus: 
My expertise is in computational and experimental RNA biology. Starting with my doctoral research, I have focused my efforts mainly on studying RNA nanotechnology with potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications to biomedicine. My interdisciplinary research experience includes extensive use of both computational and experimental techniques for modeling, predicting, engineering, and characterizing artificial nucleic acid-based nanostructures in vitro and in vivo. Research Interests: o Understanding the folding and assembly properties of various RNA molecules and structural motifs o Development of new strategies for controlled self-assembly of functional nucleic acids in vitro and in vivo o Development and characterization of nucleic acids based multifunctional nanoscaffolds for nanotechnological and biomedical applications o Development and characterization of nucleic acids based biosensor platforms, therapeutic switches and functional devices o Design and characterization of polymeric carriers for in vivo delivery of therapeutic RNAs The main research focus of my lab involves understanding the structure-to-function relationships in natural RNAs, with the goal of designing de novo functional RNA-based nanoparticles with novel characteristics such as control and sensing of various cellular processes.