ASEF Speaker Series

Dr. Jernej Ule – Retrotransposons: the “Trojan horses” of our genes

March 14, 2023 | 7:00 pm | Prešern Hall at SAZU (Novi trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana) and via Zoom

The American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) is organizing a new popular science lecture entitled Retrotransposons: the “Trojan horses” of our genes as part of the ASEF Speaker Series. The lecture will be held by prof. dr. Jernej Ule.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday, March 14, starting at 7 p.m. in a hybrid version, in the Prešern Hall at SAZU (Novi trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana) and via Zoom. Pre-registration for the lecture must be done by March 14 at 6 p.m. at the latest. When registering for the event, the type of participation is selected (at the location or via Zoom). All registered participants via Zoom will receive a Zoom link to their email address before the event.


Recent advances in experimental and computational techniques that have given us a broader view of the complex phenomena that occur when our genes are expressed and transcribed into RNA molecules will be presented. He will discuss retrotransposon-derived elements as a kind of “Trojan horses” hidden within the non-coding regions of our genes that can enable the creation of new alternative RNAs, important for both evolution and disease. He will present the proteins that sit on RNA and form an “invisibility cloak” around these elements, and how these proteins control the quality of alternative forms of RNA. He will also discuss the role of these elements in increasing the evolutionary potential for testing new RNA folds and gradually changing protein-RNA regulatory junctions, which can reshape gene expression.


Dr. Jernej Ule leads the RNK network research group based at the Institute for Dementia in London and the Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana. The group studies protein-RNA complexes in neurons by developing new methods, such as iCLIP, to study protein-RNA interactions across the entire transcriptome. This is used to understand how RNA regulation contributes to cellular function, how it is disrupted in disease, and how mutations cause disease by altering the assembly and dynamics of protein-RNA complexes. This work may open the door to the development of new therapeutic approaches to restore the proper functioning of protein-RNA complexes.

ASEF connects scientists and academics all over the world.

The ASEF Speaker Series project is made possible with the financial support of the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad and the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth.

ASEF Speaker Series