Rafal Ciosk

Current position

Professor in the department of biological sciences

Host institution

University of Oslo

Posttranscriptional gene regulation


Gene expression is controlled at many levels, including by mRNA regulation. Whether a particular mRNA is translated, repressed, or degraded, depends on its interactions with a variety of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and regulatory RNAs, which in turn recruit diverse co-factors. Our interest is in elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which conserved RBPs control mRNA fate. We are also interested in explaining how these mechanisms influence fundamental biological processes explained below.


Molecular principles of cellular and metabolic plasticity


Cellular reprograming is fundamental for development and tissue homeostasis. A profound developmental reprograming occurs during the transition from a differentiated germ cell to a pluripotent embryo. This reprograming is critical for the formation of a new individual and for the life cycle to continue. In the past, we demonstrated a critical role for both epigenetic and cytoplasm-based, posttranscriptional mechanisms, in controlling developmental reprograming. In addition to this line of research, we became interested in metabolic reprograming, which we study in the context of obesity and adaptation to extreme cold, with important biomedical implications.

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• 1995 M.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Szeged, Hungary

• 1998 Ph.D. in Genetics, Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria, Kim Nasmyth's lab

• 1999 Post-doctoral Fellow, Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria, Kim Nasmyth's lab

• 2000-2005 Post-doctoral Fellow, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA, James Priess' lab

• 2006-2012 Junior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland

• 2012 Senior Group Leader


• The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Special Fellow Award, 2005-08

• Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2000-2003

• Amersham Pharmacia Biotech & Science Magazine Prize for Young Scientists, 2000