Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor Profile Image

Department of Chemistry
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
723 Hamilton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0304
(402) 472-2426


Postdoctoral fellow, University of California Los Angeles
Ph.D., University of Michigan Ann Arbor
B.A., Bryn Mawr College


2021-2025      NSF CAREER Award
2020-2021      Nebraska EPSCoR FIRST award
2019-      Nebraska Center for Integrated Biomolecular Communication Project Leader
2015-2017      American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests

Chemical biology, biophysical chemistry, biomolecular NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, RNA structure, RNA-protein interactions, RNA dynamics

Current Research

RNA is an essential molecule of life with wide-ranging functions that include acting as: a message for protein synthesis (mRNA), a template for gene editing (CRISPR/Cas9), an enzyme (telomerase, ribozymes), a signal transducer to turn gene expression on or off (riboswitches), and many more. Synthetic RNAs, generated from directed evolution methods, have diverse biosensing and/or bioengineering applications. To perform these functions, RNA must fold in complex three-dimensional shapes and often requires binding to metals, small molecules, and/or protein cofactors.

The Eichhorn research group is focused on achieving an atomic-level understanding of how RNA folds and interacts with small molecule and/or protein binding partners. Using integrated structural biology, biophysical, and chemical biology tools, our research provides quantitative insights into the biophysical properties governing ribonucleoprotein assembly and stability. Research in the Eichhorn research group is multidisciplinary and includes solution NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, molecular modelling, and biochemical and biophysical methods to investigate RNA structural dynamics and intermolecular recognition. Research in the laboratory provides diverse training opportunities in spectroscopy, calorimetry, structural biology, biophysics, computational modelling, chemical biology, and biochemistry.

Individuals interested in joining the Eichhorn research group should email Dr. Eichhorn with a brief statement of interest and research experience and CV/resume.

Selected Publications

* indicates equal authorship

(1) Yang, Y*, Eichhorn, CD*, Wang, Y, Cascio, D, Feigon, J. “Structural basis for 7SK RNA 5¢ g-phosphate methylation and retention by MePCE” Nature Chemical Biology 15(2), 132-140 (2019).

(2) Eichhorn, CD, Yang, Y, Repeta, L, Feigon, J. “Structural basis for recognition of human 7SK long noncoding RNA by the La-related protein Larp7” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 115, E6457-6466 (2018).

(3) Eichhorn, CD, Chug, R, Feigon, J. “hLARP7 C-terminal domain contains an xRRM that binds the 3' hairpin of 7SK RNA” Nucleic Acids Research 44, 9977-9989 (2016).

(4) Kang, M, Eichhorn, CD, and Feigon, J. “Structural determinants for ligand capture by the class II preQ1 riboswitch” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 111, E663-671 (2014).

(5) Eichhorn, CD, Feng, J, Suddala, KC, Walter, NG, Brooks, CL III, Al-Hashimi, HM. “Unraveling the structural complexity in a single-stranded RNA tail: implications for efficient ligand binding in the prequeuosine riboswitch” Nucleic Acids Research 40, 1345-1355 (2012).