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Aaztli Coria successfully defended her dissertation. This image shows her and a slide at her zoom talk.

Aaztli Coria successfully defended her dissertation under the direction of Dr. Alain Laederach on January 4th, 2021 and she has received her PhD. The title of her dissertation is “Rotavirus RNA Chaperone Mediates Global Transcriptome-Wide Increase in RNA Backbone Flexibility”.

Aaztli received her BS in Biochemistry in 2014 from Maryville University in St. Louis. She began her research journey in 2012 in Dr. Kathleen Hall’s lab at Washington University in St. Louis where she studied the RNA binding preferences of spliceosomal RNA binding proteins.

Aaztli Coria
Aaztli Coria PhD

Upon completing her undergraduate degree, she continued pursuing research as a PREP scholar at University of California, Santa Cruz from 2014-2015 in Dr. Alan Zahler’s lab studying genome rearrangement in the ciliated protozoan Oxytricha trifallax.

Aaztli knew she wanted to continue studying RNA as a graduate student, therefore picked UNC for her PhD studies. She joined Dr. Alain Laederach’s lab in 2016 where she studied RNA structure and function in a variety of systems. In 2018, she received an F31 from NIGMS.


As a student in the department, Aaztli served as a student representative from 2017 – 2019 and helped organize the department’s research retreat.

Aaztli’s next adventure will be at the National Cancer Institute in Dr. Colin Wu’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow studying translation and non-canonical roles of the ribosome. Congats Aaztli!

Link to publications: Aaztli Coria