Saint Louis University

Faculty Biography

Brent M. Znosko, PhD

Professor of Chemistry
Undergraduate Program Director

Site Links

Znosko Lab Website

Contact Information

203 Shannon Hall
3501 Laclede Ave
St. Louis, MO  63103

Career History

Professor of Chemistry, Saint Louis University (2016-Present)
Associate Professor of Chemistry, Saint Louis University (2010-2016)
Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Saint Louis University (2004-2010)


Allegheny College, B.S. in Chemistry, 1999
University of Rochester, M.S. in Chemistry, 2001
University of Rochester, Ph.D. in Chemistry, 2004


The Znosko lab is interested in the stability and structure of nucleic acids and nucleic acid complexes.  Researchers in the lab focus on one of two projects.  The first project, the prediction of RNA secondary and tertiary structure from sequence, has three aims.  One aim is to address the limitations of current secondary structure prediction software.  This involves studying motifs that are frequently found in nature, the effect of salts on the stability of RNA, and the thermodynamic and structural properties of non-standard nucleotides.  A second aim of this project is to identify structural patterns in RNA 3D structures.  This utilizes NMR to solve 3D structures of RNA oligonucleotides and available software, databases, and websites to analyze previously-solved 3D structures.  The last aim of this project is to investigate the relationship between stability and structure via computations.  Results from hydrogen bonding and base stacking calculations are compared to experimental thermodynamic results.  The second project, the characterization of nucleic acid-intercalator complexes, investigates the stability and structure of these complexes.  Substituents on a core intercalator are varied, and the intercalators are complexed with DNA or RNA.  The complex is studied via a wide range of biophysical techniques, such as UV spectrophotometry, CD, NMR, x-ray diffraction, footprinting, etc.  The results from different substituents and different nucleic acid sequences are compared.  

Visit the Research Group webpage here.


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