UCL Division of Biosciences

Prof Finn Werner

Prof Finn Werner

Professor of Molecular Biophysics

Structural & Molecular Biology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2005

Research summary

Important regulatory events in the cell occur at the level of transcription, which is facilitated by RNA polymerases (RNAPs). Our research focuses on the workings of the archaeal RNAP, a superb and biochemically tractable model system for eukaryotic RNAPII. We make use of a recombinant transcription system that allows us to introduce mutations, chemically reactive or fluorescent probes into the RNAP and test the resulting RNAP variants in a range of sophisticated biochemical and biophysical assays. This functional dissection strategy of RNAP illuminates the function of the RNAP and its interplay with transcription factors - ultimately explaining gene expression at the atomic level.

Teaching summary

In addition to teaching postgraduate students in my lab, I teach undergraduates at UCL in Biochemistry (Bioc1007), Molecular Biology (Bioc2001 and Bio3004), and Fundamental and Advanced Biomolecular Mechanisms (Bioc3006/3).


Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2002
University of Copenhagen
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1993


I received my scientific training at universities in Denmark (Copenhagen) and the United Kingdom (Imperial College London). I have carried out biochemical research at the University Hospital in Copenhagen, the Thrombosis Research Institute London, Imperial College London and University College London. I joined UCL in 2005 and have never regretted it, both the research environment, the scientific and collegial atmosphere and unrivalled by the other institutions I have worked at.