Home Research Publications Blog

Research Scientist

Elisa Biondi

Education and work:

  • BS in Molecular Biology, 110/110 Magna Cum Laude, University of Bologna, Italy (2002)
  • PhD in Genetics/Astrobiology, University of Florence, Italy (2007)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Astrobiology & RNA Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia (2007-2012)
  • Research Scientist at FfAME (2012-present)

Research Summary:

My current research focuses on evolving AEGIS-based DNA and RNA aptamers against potential bioterroristic threats through in-vitro selection (SELEX). At the moment our main targets are Ricin Chain-A, and Anthrax Protective Antigen. The presence of the stronger Z-P pair in these aptamers amplifies the sequence space and 3D landscape of starting populations, and should ensure increased stability, lower kd values, and better detection limits compared to standard ACT/UG-based aptamers.

Other ongoing projects involve:

  • Post-selection modification of ACUG-selected aptamers with Z and P bases for improved activity
  • Evolution of aptamers able to bind Z and P nucleosides, to facilitate the detection of AEGIS-DNA and RNA, and separation from standard nucleic acids
  • Development of AEGIS-based and standard ACTG DNA nanostructures to create easy assembly educational kits and for nanotechnology applications

Recent Publications

icon

Adsorption of RNA on mineral surfaces and mineral precipitates
Elisa Biondi, Yoshihiro Furukawa, Jun Kawai, and Steven A. Benner
Beilstein J. Org. Chem. , Beilstein Institute (2017) 13, 393-404
<Abstract>

icon

Laboratory evolution of artificially expanded DNA gives redesignable aptamers that target the toxic form of anthrax protective antigen
Biondi E, Lane JD, Das D, Dasgupta S, Piccirilli JA, Hoshika S, Bradley KM, Krantz BA, Benner SA
Nucl. Acids Res. (2016) Oct 3. pii: gkw890. PubMed PMID: 27701076
<Abstract>

icon

Opal Absorbs and Stabilizes RNA - A Hierarchy of Prebiotic Silica Minerals
Biondi, E.; Howell, L.; Benner, S.A.
SynLett (2016) 27, A-E
<Abstract>

icon

RNA structural analysis by enzymatic digestion
Biondi E., Burke D.H.
Methods Mol Biol , Springer (2014) 1086:41-52

icon

Potent Inhibition of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase and Replication by Nonpseudoknot, "UCAA-motif" RNA Aptamers
Whatley A.S., Ditzler M.A., Lange M.J., Biondi E., Sawyer A.W., Chang J.L., Franken J.D., Burke D.H.
Mol Ther Nucleic Acids , Nature (2013) 2:e71

icon

Lewis acid catalysis of phosphoryl transfer from a copper(II)-NTP complex in a kinase ribozyme
Biondi E., Poudyal R.R., Forgy J.C., Sawyer A.W., Maxwell A.W., Burke D.H
Nucl. Acids Res. (2013) 41(5):3327-38

icon

A small ribozyme with dual-site kinase activity
Biondi E., Maxwell A.W.R., and Burke D.H.
Nucl. Acids Res. (2012) 40(15):7528-40

icon

Separating and analyzing sulfur-containing RNAs with organomercury gels
Biondi E, Burke DH.
Methods Mol Biol , Springer (2012) 2012;883:111-20
<Abstract>

icon

Convergent donor and acceptor substrate utilization among kinase ribozymes
Biondi E., Nickens D.G., Warren S., Saran D., and Burke D.H.
Nucl. Acids Res. (2010) 38(19):6785-95

icon

Montmorillonite protection of an UV-irradiated hairpin ribozyme. Evolution of the RNA world in a mineral environment
Biondi E., Branciamore S., Maurel M.-C., and Gallori E.
BMC Evol. Biol. (2007) 7(Suppl 2):S2

(View publication page for Elisa Biondi)

We thank NASA and STScI for the image of the Milky Way.
Copyright 1997-2017 © FfAME.org - The Foundation For Applied Molecular Evolution