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Drawing RNA’s Finest

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Thomas A. Steitz, who is scheduled to attend a symposium session at The RNA Institute on March 17.

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 24, 2017) — Thomas A. Steitz will become the third Nobel Prize-winning scientist to visit The RNA Institute in the past year when he delivers the keynote address at the Institute’s 4th Annual Symposium on RNA Science & Its Applications on Friday, March 17.

Steitz, a 2009 Nobel Laureate in chemistry, is the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Yale University. He will speak in the last of four sessions, “RNA Structure Informs Function,” chaired by UAlbany’s Marlene Belfort of Biology. The session also includes Denis LJ Lafontaine, professor and research director of the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

The symposiums’ other three sessions, running from 8:45 a.m. to 3:25 p.m., with keynote speakers, will be:

  • mRNA Therapeutics: Processing and Targeting, with Melissa J. Moore (keynote), Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair of Cancer Research at UMass Medical School, Kristen Lynch, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UPenn School of Medicine, and moderator Eric Sontheimer of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at UMass Medical School.
  • RNA Trafficking, Signaling and Imaging, with Maria Barna (keynote,) assistant professor of developmental biology and genetics at Stanford School of Medine, Mikala Egeblad, associate professor at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, and moderator Tom Gineras of Cold Spring Harbor Labs.
  • lncRNAs and Therapeutic Applications, with Jeanne B. Lawrence (keynote), professor and interim chair of the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at UMass Medical School.

Hands-on workshops on RNA topics will be held throughout Thursday, March 16.

Steitz joins Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath, who shared the 2009 prize with him "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome," serves on the Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board, and received an honorary UAlbany degree after speaking at the May 2016 commencement ceremony; and Tom Cech, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1989 who came to the Institute last October.

Early registration for the conference is available until Monday, February 20.

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