Mura Lab

at the University of Virginia

¡NB!: As of 2018, our scientific endeavors can be found at The present site,, will continue to be maintained, though likely only intermittently (it may lag).


The Mura Lab seeks a deeper understanding of the structure, function/dynamics, and evolution of RNA– and DNA–based protein assemblies. In particular, we are currently investigating ribonucleoprotein (RNP) assemblies built upon scaffolds of Sm proteins, such as the Sm-like archaeal proteins ('SmAP') shown at left, as part of efforts to elucidate questions such as what these protein•••RNA complexes look like at atomic resolution (structure), their assembly pathways and dynamical behavior (function), and the inter-relationships between Sm and Sm-like systems from the Archaeal, Bacterial, and Eukaryotic domains of life (evolution). Pursuit of this work is necessarily highly multidisciplinary, employing both experimental methodologies (wet-lab biochemistry & biophysics, crystallography) as well as computational approaches (e.g., bioinformatics, MD simulations).