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Postgraduate Positions in RNA Bioinformatics Lab - HKUST

01:18, 21/01/2019
Postgraduate Positions in RNA Bioinformatics Lab -

Postgraduate Positions in RNA Bioinformatics Lab -

Postgraduate student recruitments

Our lab at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is looking for talented students who are interested in studying RNA biology, especially microRNA biogenesis. The students will have chances to learn biochemistry, bioinformatics, and structural biology. For detail information, please read below and contact me via if you have further questions.

The brief information about the postgraduate program:

  • Fall 2019, Starting date: 01 Sep 2019, Application deadline: Apr 2019.

  • Spring 2020, Starting date: 01 Feb 2020, Application deadline: Nov 2019.

  • Full scholarship (2 years for Master, 4 years for Doctor): ~2100 USD/month.

  • Minimum requirement: GPA > 3.2; TOEFL 80, ILEST 6.5.

  • Students major in Biology and Bioinformatics. We also encourage students from different majors, such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science to send applications.

Biography of prof. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is originally from Vietnam. After graduation from Vietnam National University, he went to Korea and obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). During his Ph.D. period, he focused on studying DNA replication, recombination, and repair. Subsequently, Dr. Nguyen moved to Seoul National University and worked as a postdoctoral researcher. There, he researched microRNA biogenesis and made an essential contribution to understanding the molecular mechanism of human Microprocessor that is one of the major factors in microRNA biogenesis. In 2017, he started his lab in the Division of Life Science at HKUST as an Assistant professor. His lab aims to address the molecular mechanism of RNA-interacting proteins using biochemistry and bioinformatics approaches.


RNA Bioinformatics Lab

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are approximately 22 nucleotides long. They are not used to synthesize proteins but control protein production via silencing gene expression. miRNAs are present in various organisms. In humans, many miRNAs associate with numerous human diseases, including cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Each miRNA sequence is extracted from primary miRNA transcripts (pri-miRNAs) in miRNA biogenesis. Pri-miRNAs exhibit significant diverse features in their primary sequences and secondary structures that influence miRNA expression. His lab focuses on comprehensively understanding how the modulated and structured elements of pri-miRNAs are recognized and interacted with multiple RNA-interacting proteins and enzymes as well as small chemical molecules, employing multidisciplinary approaches, including biochemistry and bioinformatics techniques. The obtained knowledge from his lab would offer a fundamental understanding of miRNA-caused human diseases and a guideline for designing artificial pri-miRNAs in gene knockdown technology.




Highlighted publications

1. Nguyen MH, Nguyen TD, Nguyen TL, Nguyen TA. Orientation of human Microprocessor on primary microRNAs. Biochemistry (in press).

2. Kim K*, Nguyen TD*, Li SH, Nguyen TA. (2018) SRSF3 recruits DROSHA to the basal junction of primary microRNAs. RNA 24, 892-898. *Co-first authors.

3. Nguyen TA*, Park J*, Dang TL, Choi YG, Kim VN. (2018) Microprocessor depends on hemin to recognize the apical loop of primary microRNA. Nucleic Acids Res 46, 5726-5736. *Co-first authors. Co-corresponding authors.

4. Kwon SC*, Nguyen TA*, Choi YG*, Jo MH, Hohng S, Kim VN and Woo JS.  (2016) Structure of human DROSHA. Cell 164, 81-90. *Co-first authors.    

Highlighted in Cell Research (2016) 26:511–512; Video abstract by Cell journal.

5. Nguyen TA, Jo MH, Choi YG, Park J, Kwon SC, Hohng S, Kim VN and Woo JS. (2015) Functional anatomy of the human Microprocessor. Cell 161, 1374-1387.

Top 10 Science News of the Year by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST); Top 5 Basic Academy by Biological Research Information Center (BRIC); F1000Prime.

6. Thu HP*, Nguyen TA*, Munashingha P, Kwon BK, Dao Van Q and Seo YS. (2015) A physiological significance of the functional interaction between Mus81 and Rad27 in homologous recombination repair. Nucleic Acids Res 43:1684-1699. *Co-first authors.

7. Nguyen TA, Tak YS, Lee CH, Kang YH, Cho IT and Seo YS. (2011) Analysis of subunit assembly and function of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNase H2 complex. FEBS J 287:4927-4942.


Highlighted Awards

Young Scientist Award- Korea Society for Structural Biology, KSSB (2015).

Croucher Innovation Award, 2018 (


About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research university that focuses on science, technology, and business as well as humanities and social science.  HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with a global vision, strong entrepreneurial spirit and, innovative thinking.

  • HKUST was ranked as the world’s best young university in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2018.  

  • HKUST was ranked as the top 30 in QS World University Rankings.

  • HKUST graduates were ranked 16th worldwide and top in Greater China in Global University Employability Survey 2018.​

  • HKUST attained the highest proportion of internationally excellent research work in the Research Assessment Exercise 2014 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee.

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