RNA molecules fold into structures and intermolecular interactions to execute a second layer of genetic instructions beyond encoding proteins. Functions of RNA structures are pervasive and diverse, including many levels of gene regulation, guiding, scaffolding and catalysis. RNA molecules are directly involved in a variety of human diseases, such as genetic disorders resulting from mutations in noncoding RNAs, RNA binding proteins, and infections caused by RNA viruses (like HIV, HCV, Ebola, etc.). My research combines computational, chemical and biological approaches, and aims to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of "RNA machines". These studies will lead to new understanding and therapies targeting human diseases.