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New Lab Manager Brings Unique Package of Advanced Computational Skills to The RNA Institute

The addition of Srivathsan Ranganathan (“Sri”) to The RNA Institute reflects the spirit of innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration embedded in the Institute's culture. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 21, 2013) – The RNA Institute at the University at Albany has announced the appointment of Srivathsan Ranganathan (“Sri”) as the Institute’s Advanced Computational Facility Lab Manager to support its collaborative RNA research efforts. Sri joins the Institute from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

“A major aim of the Institute is to utilize computer modeling to accelerate the process of screening drugs against RNA targets, troubleshooting potential interactions, and optimizing drug design,” said Paul Agris, the Institute’s director. “Sri’s skill set is an excellent match to support these endeavors.”

While training for his Ph.D. in chemical engineering under the guidance of Shekhar Garde at RPI, Ranganathan developed the ability to create and manipulate simulations of bimolecular interfaces. Additionally, his knowledge of “separation science” will be vital to the efforts of researchers working to isolate specific forms of RNA.

Rather than hiring someone who was only adept at manipulating existing software packages, Agris said he specifically sought a candidate with multifaceted skills, toward the goal of developing new computational methods for RNA research.

“This spirit of innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration and creativity in applying RNA to technology development and drug discovery is deeply embedded in the culture of The RNA Institute and is reflected in the addition of Sri to the team,” Agris said.

About The RNA Institute

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, ALS, and drug-resistant infections.

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.

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