The Pierce Lab

Small Conditional RNAs

Our work is focused on engineering small conditional RNAs (scRNAs) that interact and change conformation to execute molecular logic in vitro, in situ, and in vivo. This research program exploits the programmable chemistry of nucleic acid base-pairing.

Molecular Instruments

We are working to engineer small conditional RNAs that function as programmable molecular instruments within intact biological organisms to read out and regulate cell state. Current molecular instruments are made available to the research community at molecularinstruments.org.

Molecular Programming

We are working to develop mathematically rigorous, physically sound, computationally efficient algorithms for analyzing and designing the function of nucleic acid molecules, devices, and systems. Our long-term goal is to develop a compiler for molecular programming that takes as input a modular conceptual device design and provides as output the sequences of scRNAs that interact to implement the desired function. Current algorithms are made available to the research community at nupack.org.