Structural and Molecular Biology


Prof Andres Ramos

Prof Andres Ramos


Research Department of Structural & Molecular Biology
Darwin Building, Gower St


  • Professor of RNA Biology
    Structural & Molecular Biology
    Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL


We study the structural and molecular foundations of RNA metabolism in eukaryotes. We focus on regulatory mechanisms that play a key role in cancer and neuropathologies.

RNA metabolism is controlled by a network of protein-RNA interactions. We analyze how nucleic acid binding proteins select their RNA targets from the cellular pool and how they then work together with the core cellular machines to regulate specific pathways. We develop novel NMR methodologies to look at structure and specificity in these large, transient protein-RNA complexes. By combining structural and biophysical data with functional cell-based assays and genome-wide screens, we aim to build mechanistic models of regulation that allow the manipulation of individual regulatory pathways.

Key research questions:

How is the biogenesis of miRNAs regulated in a cell and stage specific fashion?

How is the translation of specific mRNAs restricted in space and time?

How do RNA binding proteins recognize a diverse ensemble of cellular targets, and how is this recognition regulated?

Andres Ramos has a PhD from Cambridge University and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) and has undergone post-doctoral training at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, in London. In 2004 he established his independent research group at NIMR and was tenured in December 2009. Since October 2013 he is Professor of RNA Biology in the Research Department of Structural and Molecular Biology at UCL.

Selected research papers:

Nicastro, G., Candel, A. M., Uhl, M., Oregioni, A., Hollingworth, D., Backofen, R., . . . Ramos, A. (2017). Mechanism of β-actin mRNA Recognition by ZBP1. Cell Rep., 18 (5), 1187-1199.

Collins, K., Oregioni, A., Robertson L.E., Kelly, G., and Ramos, A.* (2015). Protein-RNA specificity by high-throughput principal component analysis of NMR spectra. Nucleic Acid Res. doi:10.1093/nar/gku1372  

Nicastro, G., García-Mayoral, MF., Hollingworth, D., Kelly, G., Martin, S.R., Briata, P., Gherzi, R. and Ramos, A.* (2012). Non-canonical Guanine recognition mediates KSRP regulation of Let-7 biogenesis. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 19, 1282-1286. PMID:23142982 

Cukier, C.D., Hollingworth, D., Kelly, G., Martin, S.R., Díaz-Moreno, I., and Ramos, A.* (2010). Molecular basis of FIR-mediated c-myc transcriptional control. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 17, 1058-1064. PMID:20711187

Díaz-Moreno, I., Hollingworth, D., Frenkiel, T.A., Kelly, G., Martin, S.R., Howell, S., García-Mayoral, MF.,  Gherzi., R.,  Briata P. and Ramos, A.* (2009). Phosphorylation-mediated unfolding of a KH domain regulates KSRP localization via 14-3-3 binding. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 16, 238-246. PMID:19198587

Trabucchi, M., Briata, P., Garcia-Mayoral, MF., Haase A., Filipowicz, W ., Ramos, A.*, Gherzi, R. and Rosenfeld, G.M. (2009). The RNA binding protein KSRP promotes the biogenesis of a subset of miRNAs. Nature 459, 1010-1014. PMID:19458619

Beuth, B., Garcia-Mayoral, MF., Taylor, I.A. and Ramos, A.* (2007). Scaffold Independent Analysis of RNA-protein interactions: the Nova-1 KH3-RNA complex. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 129, 10205-10210. PMID:17655233

Noble, C., Hollingworth, D., Martin, S.R., Ennis-Adeniran, V., Smerdon, S., Kelly, G., Taylor, I.A. and Ramos, A.* (2005). Key features of the interaction between Pcf11 CID and RNA polymerase II CTD. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 12, 144-151. PMID:15665873 

* Corresponding author