The RNA Institute Cited for Leading the Growing Scientific Focus on RNA’s Potential
New York Academy of Science publication spotlights the Institute’s efforts to find new therapeutic agents to combat disease.
Senior research scientist Maria Basanta Sanchez at work in the RNA Institute. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)
ALBANY, N.Y. (November 27, 2013) — One of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious scientific societies profiles The RNA Institute of the University at Albany this month in its online publication’s feature story, “The Rise of RNA: A New Target for Therapeutic Agents.”
The Nov. 18 article in the magazine of the New York Academy of Sciences depicts how the three-year-old UAlbany Institute is leading the way in expanding RNA’s role in “the great drama of the molecular biology of life” beyond simply carrying “DNA's instructions to cellular structures called ribosomes that produce the proteins.”
The article goes on to state: “The Institute was founded in 2010 on the conviction that RNA is not a mere errand boy for DNA, but is a promising target for therapies that might treat diseases ranging from cancer to depression . . . The RNA Institute, directed by Paul F. Agris, professor of biological sciences and chemistry, is premised on a paradigm that sees RNA as much more important than a mere messenger.”
Launched in June 2010, The RNA Institute conducts cutting-edge research for development and delivery of innovative medicines, vaccines and diagnostics. The national research resource recently unveiled its state-of-the-art facility for RNA biomedical technology development and commercialization. The new space utilizes an “open source” model where leading researchers from around the globe can collaborate on investigative efforts into designing RNA technologies and drug therapies for the treatment of such diseases as cancer, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, and ALS.
The RNA Institute now boasts several research collaborations with institutions such as Albany Medical College and RPI, as well as public-private partnerships with global corporations, Albany Medical Research, Inc., Sigma-Aldrich and ThermoFisher Scientific. The Institute has established a network of research affiliates with more than 50 laboratories nationwide encompassing more than 350 researchers, as well as a scientific advisory board with Nobel Laureate and National Academy of Sciences members.