Roland K. O. Sigel
Roland K. O. Sigel was born in Basel, Switzerland. From 1991 to 1995, he studied Chemistry at the University of Basel with Biology and Biochemistry as a minor subject, and a Diploma Thesis in Organic Chemistry. Roland is currently Associate Professor (2009) of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. From 2003 to 2008 he was Assistant Professor at the same University endowed with a Förderungsprofessur of the Swiss National Science Foundation. After his studies of Chemistry at the University of Basel, Switzerland, he did a PhD with Bernhard Lippert (1999, University of Dortmund, Germany) followed by three years at Columbia University, New York, with Anna Marie Pyle (now Yale University). He was awarded the EuroBIC Medal in 2008, the Alfred Werner Prize (Swiss Chemical Society) in 2009, and is a recipient of an ERC Starting Grant 2010 by the European Research Council. In 2014 he was co-chair of EuroBIC-12, and he will be co-chair of ICBIC-19 in Interlaken, Switzerland. Currently, he is the Swiss representative of the EuCheMS Division of Chemistry for Life Sciences and the elected Secretary of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry.
His scientific interests center around the manifold aspects of metal ion binding to large nucleic acids. Presently, most of the research in his lab is focused on the structural and catalytic role of metal ions in nucleic acids, especially group II intron ribozymes. Riboswitches, which are gene regulatory elements occurring mostly in bacteria, as well as specific structural motives like three- way junctions and quadruplex structures, are a further focus of his research. His group applies a broad combination of tools, including (bio)chemical syntheses, single molecule fluorescence (smFRET), and NMR spectroscopy. Roland has published more than 90 peer-reviewed publications, has given about 100 lectures at international conferences and Universities, was an editor of Volumes 43 and 44 of the Metal Ions in Biological Systems series and is now co-editing the new series Metal Ions in Life Sciences.