Zoya Ignatova is a professor of RNA Biology and Managing director of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Hamburg (UHH), Germany. She received her Ph.D. in 2001 from the Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH) and was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Massachusetts. Dr. Ignatova established her independent research group at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry in Munich, Germany, in 2005 and, after an appointment (2008-2014) at the University of Potsdam as an associated professor, she took the chair in RNA Biology at UHH in 2015.
Dr. Ignatova has made fundamental discoveries on the role of tRNAs in modulating translation kinetics and protein folding and function. Several diseases are linked to alterations in translation kinetics and recent discoveries from the laboratory of Dr. Ignatova identify tRNAs as underlying entities in several pathologies, thus highlighting their potential as a new class of therapeutics. Recent efforts in her laboratory are dedicated to structurally repurposing tRNAs to correct various inherited mutations, including nonsense mutations.