Marina Rodnina is a biochemist and biophysicist recognized for her work on the function of the ribosome. Her group pioneered the use of kinetic and fluorescence methods in conjunction with quantitative biochemistry to solve the mechanisms of translation. Rodnina was born in Kiev, Ukraine. She graduated from Kiev University and received her PhD at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the Ukrainian Academy of Science, Kiev, in 1989. Rodnina was Alexander von Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University Witten-Herdecke, Germany, where she obtained her Habilitation in 1998 and became a professor and chair of the Institute for Physical Chemistry in 2000. Since 2008 Rodnina is the head of the Department of Physical Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Goettingen, Germany. She received several awards, including the Hans Neurath Award of the Protein Society, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the Otto Warburg Medal, and Albrecht Kossel Prize. Rodnina is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Academia Europaea, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Goettingen Academy of Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. She is an honorary professor at the University of Goettingen.

Research Interests

Rodnina's current interests focus on the dynamics of the ribosome and translation factors, the mechanisms of translational recoding, and cotranslational protein folding of cytosolic and membrane proteins. Our goal is to reach a comprehensive understanding of how the translational machinery works and how the ribosome deciphers additional layers of information stored in mRNAs beyond the meaning of codons. We are interested in the two-way communication between the pace of translation and protein folding and how the dynamics of the ribosome and factors is rectified into directional processes. We use a wide range of methods including ensemble and single-molecule biophysics, structural studies, and mass spectrometry.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 21: Biochemistry

Secondary Section

Section 29: Biophysics and Computational Biology