Symposium on March 25 to explore future of RNA therapeutics


The stunning success of mRNA vaccines in preventing severe disease and death from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has many wondering what other biomedical applications might result from RNA research.

The U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine will explore this question March 25 at its sixth annual symposium titled “Towards our Future of RNA Therapeutics.”

RNA — or ribonucleic acid — research currently shapes revolutionary scientific paths, from fundamental science discoveries in the labs to powerful biomedical applications for patients.

Five keynote speakers will illuminate the emerging future of RNA therapeutics. They are, in order of their talks:

  • Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak, Harvard University, on the origin of life.
  • Gisela Storz, National Institutes of Health, on small regulatory RNAs.
  • Chris Burge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on pre-mRNA splicing.
  • Wendy Gilbert, Yale School of Medicine, on RNA modifications and processing.
  • Michele Hastings, Rosalind Franklin University, on RNA therapeutics.

The symposium also features six mini-talks by U-M researchers and concludes with a panel discussion moderated by U-M alumnus John Androsavich, global lead of RNA medicine at Pfizer. It is the formal launch of a new thrust of the Center for RNA Biomedicine in “M-RNA Therapeutics.”

The event will be in person and will be live streamed via Zoom, but not recorded. It begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Kahn Auditorium of the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Research Science Building.

The symposium is free and open to all, although registration is required. Register at A boxed lunch will be provided.

Since its inception in 2016, the Center for RNA Biomedicine foster has fostered and promoted the U-M RNA research community. Funded as part of the Presidential Biosciences Initiative in 2018, the center has organized an annual symposium to bring the RNA research community together to discuss the latest discoveries in the field and the next scientific inquiries.

The Center for RNA Biomedicine is the largest academic RNA research center in the United States. It comprises more than 150 faculty and their labs, across seven schools and colleges of the Ann Arbor campus, reflecting the interdisciplinary requirement and collaborative spirit of RNA research.



  1. David Blair
    on March 17, 2022 at 7:06 am

    “..stunning success of mRNA vaccines”….

    Hopefully peer-reviewed studies will be sited to back this claim up.

    Would have been nice to have Dr. Robert Malone as part of the panel. He only pioneered the mRNA technology.

  2. Kari Dumbeck
    on March 17, 2022 at 11:31 am

    “success”? The international studies would state otherwise as would the VARSE reporting system.

    There are no covid “vaccines”. Only experimental theraputic shots.

    I agree Dr. Malone should be part of this discussion if you want the truth.

  3. Kari Dumbeck
    on March 17, 2022 at 11:42 am

    Correction. They were only approved as gene therapy shots not theraputics.

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