Mark Ditzler

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Professional Biography:

2012 to Present: Research Scientist, Exobiology Branch, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 2009 to 2012: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO


2009 – Ph.D. Biophysics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
2003 – B.S. Biophysics, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Research Interests:

The origin and early evolution of life with an emphasis on RNA world theories. Non-coding RNAs as tools in artificial gene regulation and synthetic biology.

Select Publications:

Stephenson, J.D., Popović, M., Bristow, T.F., Ditzler, M.A. (2016). Evolution of ribozymes in the presence of a mineral surface. RNA 22: 1893-1901. doi: 10.1261/rna.057703.116

Popović, M., Fliss, P.S., Ditzler, M.A. (2015). In vitro evolution of distinct self-cleaving ribozymes in diverse environments. Nucleic Acids Res. 43 (14): 7070-7082. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv648

Ditzler, M.A., Lange, M.J., Bose, D., Bottoms, C.A., Virkler, K.F., Sawyer, A.W., Whatley, A.S., Spollen, W., Givan, S.A., Burke, D.H. (2013). High-throughput sequence analysis reveals structural diversity and improved potency among RNA inhibitors of HIV reverse transcriptase. Nucleic Acids Res. 41(3):1873-84. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks1190.

Whatley, A.S., Ditzler, M.A., Lange, M.J., Biondi, E., Sawyer, A.W., Chang, J.L., Franken, J.D., Burke, D.H. (2013). Potent Inhibition of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase and Replication by Nonpseudoknot, “UCAA-motif” RNA Aptamers. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 5;2:e71. doi: 10.1038/mtna.2012.62.

Ditzler, M.A., Bose, D., Shkriabai, N., Marchand, B., Sarafianos, S.G., Kvaratskhelia, M., Burke, D.H. (2011). Broad-spectrum aptamer inhibitors of HIV reverse transcriptase closely mimic natural substrates. Nucleic Acids Res. 39(18):8237-47. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr381.

Abelson, J., Blanco, M., Ditzler, M.A., Fuller, F., Aravamudhan, P., Wood, M., Villa, T., Ryan, D.E., Pleiss, J.A., Maeder, C., Guthrie, C., Walter, N.G. (2010). Conformational dynamics of single pre-mRNA molecules during in vitro splicing. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 17(4):504-12. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.1767.

Ditzler, M.A., Otyepka, M., Sponer, J., Walter, N.G. (2010). Molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics of RNA: conformational and chemical change we can believe in. Acc Chem Res. 43(1):40-7. doi: 10.1021/ar900093g.

Ditzler, M.A., Sponer, J., Walter, N.G. (2009). Molecular dynamics suggest multifunctionality of an adenine imino group in acid-base catalysis of the hairpin ribozyme. RNA. 15(4):560-75. doi: 10.1261/rna.1416709.

Ditzler, M.A., Rueda, D., Mo, J., Håkansson, K., Walter, N.G. (2008). A rugged free energy landscape separates multiple functional RNA folds throughout denaturation. Nucleic Acids Res. 36(22):7088-99. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn871.

Ditzler, M.A., Alemán, E.A., Rueda, D., Walter, N.G. (2007) Focus on function: single molecule RNA enzymology. Biopolymers 87(5-6):302-16. doi: 10.1002/bip.20819.