Petzold Group

Assistant Professor

Katja Petzold

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 876 47
Organizational unit: Katja Petzold Group

Mobile: +46 070 588 17 96

Visiting address:

Biomedicum, Quarter 9B

Deptarment of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics

Solnavägen 9

171 65 Solna

Please visit for more information.


Our research group is interested in understanding how RNAs change their structures in order to perform function. Until recently, only snapshots of molecules could be observed, hiding their mode of operation. We employ Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and other biophysical techniques, to investigate the molecular mechanism of RNA function. When function of these molecular machines becomes apparent, it also provides a variety of unique new drug targets. The lab develops methods in NMR and RNA biochemistry to address these questions. Current projects include viral, bacterial and eukaryotic regulatory RNAs, e.g. microRNAs, ribosomal RNAs or RNA from HBV.

How RNA move – excited states of RNA (Nature 2012):



Transactvaton Response Element Ribosomal A-site Dimerization Initiation Site


January the story of Petzold lab begins
July first RNA is produced in the wet-lab
August Postdoctorial Fellow Carolina Fontana joins the lab
September Bruker delivers our new 600MHz NMR machine -work can begin
October PhD student candidate Lorenzo Baronti joins the lab
October Katja receives the Ragnar Söderberg Fellowship in Medicine
November Master student Oana Florean joins the lab
January Lorenzo gets admitted to PhD studies at KI
January PhD student candidate Hampus Karlsson and Master student Mona Farshchian are joining the lab
January Nature article describing GU and GT mismatches was accepted
March Postdoctoral Fellow Emilie Steiner is joining the lab
March Our Nature paper is finally out, with a commentary on the impact on DNA
April Postdoctoral Fellow Ileana Guzzetti is joining the lab. She will be working jointly with the E. Andersson Lab (KI-CMB)
April Katja receives the Ingvar Carlsson Award


The Ingvar Carlsson award ceremony gets covered in Kemivärlden Biotech.


A new paper related to the Petzold lab is published: Modulating RNA Alignment Using Directional Dynamic Kinks: Application in Determining an Atomic-Resolution Ensemble for a Hairpin using NMR Residual Dipolar Couplings.


Carolina Fontana received a Assistant Professor position at the Department of Chemistry, University of the Republic, Uruguay. Congratulations and good luck with your future research Carolina!


This years MBB Keynote lecture presents work in RNA and DNA modifications and G-quadruplex formation.


Luca Retattino joins the lab as a project student!


The Swedish Cancer Society has funded our work on miR-34a.



The Petzold Lab co-organizes the workshop in Stockholm June 12-15, where experts in RNA biology and RNA structure meet


Postdoc Judith Schlagnitweit and Master student Karen Schriever joins the group.


During 2016, Bachelor student Noah Hopkins joins the Petzold lab for a project.


Lorenzo Baronti received the travel grant from the Biophysical Society for the “CHIANTI WORKSHOP ON MAGNETIC RESONANCE FOR CELLULAR STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY” for his work on miRNA targeting.


Congratulations Luís Silva on receiving an Erasmus scholarship for his Master Thesis!


Master student Luís Silva will join the Petzold lab for a one year project.


Master student Karen Schriever finishes her project in the Petzold lab.


Our paper “Visualizing Transient Watson-Crick Like Mispairs in DNA and RNA Duplexes” Nature, 2015, is as of March/April 2016 a highly cited paper  (received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of its academic field) based on a Web of Knowledge/ISI.


Congratulations to Emilie (first author), Judith and our collaborator Patrik Lundström for their great work to extend R1ρ timescales and probes with 1H R1ρ.


Katja and Emma receive the Knut och Alice Wallenberg Project grant. Our project on miRNA targeting got funded by the prestigious Wallenberg foundation – Thank you!!


Katja received the Sven och Ebba-Christina Hagbergs Pris for her work on RNA structure and function using NMR. This price is given to young group leaders who have shown potential.

12/2016 Katja received funding from the Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) for five years.
02/2017 Congratulations to Judith, who received the highly competitive Marie Curie Fellowship.
05/2017 Katja has been invited to become a Faculty 1000 member.
06/2017 Lorenzo Baronti has been selected to attend the EMBO practical NMW course in Basel this summer in a strong competition.
06/2017 Lorenzo Baronti has received the Suraj Manroa Student Poster Price for presenting his work at the Euromar 2017.
09/2017 Hannes Feyrer's work was promoted to talk at the meeting of the RNA Society of Sweden, Lund.
02/2018 Our review article “A guide to RNA large scale sample preparation” is accepted into
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Congratulations to Lorenzo, Hampus and Maja for a great publication!
03/2018 Our method development paper “Efficient detection of structure and dynamics in unlabeled RNAs: the SELOPE approach” is accepted to Chemistry. Congratulations to Judith, Emilie and Hampus for a great work!
03/2018 Katja receives the AMPERE Prize for Young Investigators and will give a prize lecture at this years Euromar in Nantes.
04/2018 The Petzold Group moves into KI's new building Biomedicum.

Selected Publications

Efficient Detection of Structure and Dynamics in Unlabeled RNAs: The SELOPE Approach.
Schlagnitweit J, Steiner E, Karlsson H, Petzold K
Chemistry 2018 Apr;24(23):6067-6070

Comprehensive analysis of NMR data using advanced line shape fitting.
Niklasson M, Otten R, Ahlner A, Andresen C, Schlagnitweit J, Petzold K, et al
J. Biomol. NMR 2017 Oct;69(2):93-99

Visualizing transient Watson-Crick-like mispairs in DNA and RNA duplexes.
Kimsey I, Petzold K, Sathyamoorthy B, Stein Z, Al-Hashimi H
Nature 2015 Mar;519(7543):315-20

Visualizing transient low-populated structures of RNA.
Dethoff E, Petzold K, Chugh J, Casiano-Negroni A, Al-Hashimi H
Nature 2012 Nov;491(7426):724-8

Synthesis, screening and computational investigation of pentacycloundecane-peptoids as potent CSA-HIV PR inhibitors.
Makatini M, Petzold K, Arvidsson P, Honarparvar B, Govender T, Maguire G, et al
Eur J Med Chem 2012 Nov;57():459-67

Semiconstant-time P,H-COSY NMR: analysis of complex mixtures of phospholipids originating from Helicobacter pylori.
Petzold K, Olofsson A, Arnqvist A, Gröbner G, Schleucher J
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009 Oct;131(40):14150-1

EASY ROESY: reliable cross-peak integration in adiabatic symmetrized ROESY.
Thiele C, Petzold K, Schleucher J
Chemistry 2009 ;15(3):585-8

Conserved nucleotides in an RNA essential for hepatitis B virus replication show distinct mobility patterns.
Petzold K, Duchardt E, Flodell S, Larsson G, Kidd-Ljunggren K, Wijmenga S, et al
Nucleic Acids Res. 2007 ;35(20):6854-61

Available Positions

Applications for Master Students are welcome in the field of NMR or RNA biochemistry. Students have preferably a background in biochemistry, chemistry, molecular biology or physics with an interest in inter-disciplinary research.

We are always looking for talented Master, PhD students and Postdocs. Please send a 1 page coverletter, 2 page CV, publication record and list of references to Katja Petzold.

Research Group

Katja Petzold Assistant Professor
Hannes Freyer PhD student
Sarah Friebe Sandoz Postdoctoral Fellow
Lorenzo Baronti PhD student
Hampus Karlsson PhD student
Ileana Guzzetti Postdoctoral Fellow
Judith Schlagnitweit Postdoctoral Fellow
Luca Retattino PhD student
Maja Marušič Postdoctoral Fellow
Noah Hopkins Project student 
Lara Sweetapple Research Assistant
Anurupa Nagchowdhury Administration
Andrea Coulthard Bachelor student
Linda Käll Bachelor student
Mateu Montserrat  Bachelor student
Noah Hopkins  Bachelor student