Lecture Discusses mRNA Breakthroughs, Challenges

Two bottles of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, one laying on its side.
The COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer used mRNA technologies, the focus of Thursday's "Life at the Interface of Science+Engineering Lecture Series" events. (Photo by Spencer B. Davis / Unsplash)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 15, 2022) — The challenges and breakthroughs associated with mRNA technologies  will be discussed in the latest "Life at the Interface of Science+Engineering Lecture Series" event on Thursday.

The two-part event will be hosted by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany.

Portrait photos of Robert S. Langer, MIT and Melissa J. Moore, Moderna.
Robert S. Langer, MIT (above) and Melissa J. Moore, Moderna (photos provided)

At 10 a.m., Robert S. Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will speak on "Micro and Nanotechnology Delivery Systems for mRNA Therapies and Tackling Global Health Challenges." The lecture will take place in the Biotech Auditorium, CBIS Building on the main campus of RPI.

At 2:30 p.m., Melissa J. Moore, Chief Scientific Officer, Scientific Affairs at Moderna will speak on "mRNA as Medicine" in the 1st Floor Atrium at the ETEC building at UAlbany.

mRNA — or messenger RNA — is a naturally occurring molecule which carries instructions that direct cells to make a protein to help build the immune system. mRNA technologies are at the core of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that were developed to protect against COVID-19.

Established through the generosity of UAlbany Distinguished Professor Marlene Belfort and RPI Institute Professor Georges Belfort, the "Life at the Interface of Science and Engineering Endowed Lecture Series" is designed to address fundamental questions that require the expertise of both Life Sciences and Engineering to answer.

The collaborative lecture series brings world renowned experts to speak to the campus communities at both UAlbany and RPI.