University of Dundee

Nucleic Acids Conference 2019

Nucleic Acids – the cell’s most exciting molecules!

Structures, Mechanisms and Interactions with Proteins

28 – 30 June 2019

University of Dundee, UK

Dalhousie Building

  • Nucleic Acids Conference 2019 attendee photo

Thank you for attending Nucleic Acids Conference 2019.

Please download the attendee group photo from the right hand side bar (below sponsor logos).

More photos are available here.

Nucleic acids perform all the genetic functions of cells. DNA is the enduring repository of genetic information while RNA is the working substance of genetics.  The genetic information in DNA must be preserved, so that it is replicated and recombined with high precision, and it is the only molecule that is repaired to a significant degree in the cell. RNA takes that genetic information to the ribosomal protein factories, yet it does so much more than that. RNA is a highly versatile molecule that directs its own splicing and modification. RNA structure is complex, allowing it to act as a ligand of great specificity and even as an enzyme. These properties were likely of key significance in the early evolution of life on the planet. RNA is furthermore a powerful regulator of gene expression in the cell, from the riboswitches of the bacteria to miRNA species in eukaryotes. Lastly RNA provides powerful new tools in gene editing that promise important future developments in human health.

Distinguished international speakers will address many of these aspects of nucleic acid structure, function and mechanism in this conference. 

Celebrating 40 years of the Lilley laboratory in Dundee

The background for this conference is an approaching 40th anniversary of the laboratory of David Lilley in the University of Dundee. It also marks the passage of his 70th birthday in 2018. All the invited speakers have some connection with the Lilley laboratory, being present or former members, collaborators or long-standing scientific friends.

The conference is open to all who are interested in nucleic acids, for a nominal registration fee to cover local costs of refreshments and lunch.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Wei Yang
  • Taekjip Ha
  • Joe Piccirilli
  • Steve West
  • Yamuna Krishnan
  • Eric Westhof
  • David Sherratt
  • Malcolm White
  • Yi Zhang
  • Darrin York
  • Ben Luisi
  • Daniel Lafontaine
  • David Rueda
  • Jan Lipfert
  • Stephanie Kath-Schorr
  • Alastair Murchie
  • Yiliang Ding
  • Toni Gartner
  • Mark Dillingham


The conference is organised by David Lilley and Anton Gartner of the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee.


The following fellowships and bursaries are available to early-career scientists (graduate students and postdoctorals):

  • 5 RNA Society Fellowships
  • 3 Nucleic Acid Group Bursaries

Each is to the value of  £150, effectively reimbursing the cost of registration. To apply, please email David Lilley ( with a one page CV. And arrange for your supervisor also to email a recommendation too. There is a deadline of 15 May, and a decision will be made soon thereafter.


Thank you to our sponsors.

  • The Agouron Institute
  • ATDBio Ltd.
  • Glen Research
  • New England Biolabs
  • The RNA Society
  • PCCP for sponsoring the lectureship by Dr Joseph Piccirill
  • The Gait Lectureship of the RSC Nucleic Acids Group, to be awarded to Dr Wei Yang
  • Biosearch Technologies
  • ChemGenes