Ataide Lab

Structural biology
Structural and mechanistic studies of eukaryotic RNA-protein complexes (RNPs) and ncRNAs involved in cell maintenance processes.

Janine, Rob, Sandro, James, Camilla, Sara

Our aims

Using X-ray crystallography, biophysical, biochemical and cell biology approaches we aim to understand the complex functional life of the ncRNAs.

Our research

With the advance of new technologies in DNA and RNA sequencing and the "omics" studies, it became clear that only up to 2% of the eukaryotic genome consist of protein-coding sequence despite the fact that >90% of the eukaryotic genome is transcribed. The large portion of transcribed RNA will comprise ribosomal RNAs, transfer RNAs and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). The research in Ataide's lab focus on structural and mechanistic studies of eukaryotic RNA-protein complexes (RNPs) and ncRNAs involved in cell maintenance processes.


Cell survival relies in several fundamental biological processes, one of each is the precise cellular localization of proteins. Given the complexity of the task, the cell has evolved specialized machines to achieve this goal; currently however, our understanding of the process is far from complete. The human signal recognition particle SRP is an essential ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP) that is conserved across all kingdoms of life and responsible for co-translational delivery of membrane and secretory proteins to the plasma membrane in prokaryotes and to the endoplasmic reticulum in eukaryotes.

Non-coding RNA

Long non-coding RNA molecules (lncRNAs) represent a largely unexplored area of the transcriptome with potential regulatory functions in many cellular process like epigenetics, cell cycle, intra-cellular trafficking , translation, splicing and differentiation. Consequently, they are involved in many pathogenesis like obsity, cancer and Alzheimer. Better understanding of structural and mechanisiic features of these molcules will offer insights to development of new RNA targeted therapies

Our people

Group lead

Post docs

  • Dr. Rob Hynson

PhD Students

  • James Walshe
  • Janine Kate Flores 
  • Camilla Faoro

Undergraduate students 

  • Sergey Kuznetsov

Research Associate

  • Andrew Wallace
  • Dr. Alastair Stewart (post doc - 2015-2016) (Group Leader at Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute)
  • Dr. Eija Lehtomaki (post doc - 2012-2013)
  • Ivana Amin (Honours student - 2015) 
  • Alex H.P. Chan (Honours student - 2013) 
  • Sara Kassem (exchange student -2015-2016)
  • Aline Ramos (exchange student -2014-2015)
  • Mira Holiday (summer student -2013)
  • Vivian Li (summer student -2013)
  • Mahiar Mahjoub (TSP- 2013-2014, and summer student -2015)
  • Elise Needham /Steven Paredes /Natasha Freidman /Eric Zhu (TSP students - 2013-1014)


For information about opportunities to work or collaborate with the Ataide Group, contact Dr Sandro Ataide.

Sandro Fernandes Ataide

Lecturer in Structural Biology
  • Room 672 Molecular Bioscience Building G08