Our team

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The UNSW RNA Institute is Australia’s leading RNA research institute, bringing together researchers from UNSW Science, Engineering and Medicine & Health, led by Director Professor Pall Thordarson, with collaborative input from other universities and institutes.


Prof. Pall Thordarson 

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from The University of Iceland, he completed his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Sydney in 2001. Joining the School of Chemistry at UNSW Sydney in 2007, Professor Thordarson was a Chief Investigator for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science 2014-2021. He has served as the Deputy Head of School of Chemistry since 2018. 

His research interest ranges from Nanomedicine and Light-harvesting Materials to Supramolecular and Systems Chemistry. He is focused on advancing our understanding of how molecules interact with one other and ‘self-assemble’, and how self-assembly can then be harnessed to create novel functional materials and systems. In collaboration with UNSW RNA Institute colleague Dr Albert Fahrenbach, he has extended this understanding to the synthesis of RNA and how RNA interacts with other materials. His key RNA research activities include nanoparticle delivery systems, RNA synthesis, RNA supramolecular chemistry and bioconjugate chemistry.  

Recent RNA publications include Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2021 & 2015), Adv. Healthcare Mat. (2020), J. Med. Chem. (2020) and Nature Commun. (2017).