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Targeting Noncoding RNAs in Disease: Challenges and Opportunities

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Targeting Noncoding RNAs in Disease:  Challenges and Opportunities

Recorded 04 September 2013

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Noncoding RNAs make up the majority of transcribed RNA and have a wide range of functions in cellular and developmental processes. Consequently, they are also implicated in the development and pathophysiology of many diseases and represent potential targets for therapeutic intervention. microRNAs are one class of noncoding RNA that has been intensely studied. Effective inhibition (or silencing) of microRNAs in vivo has enabled scientists to make groundbreaking discoveries about the contribution of these short regulating RNAs to some of the major human diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Long noncoding RNAs are less well studied, but have recently emerged as another novel class of therapeutic targets in a variety of diseases. Both long and short noncoding RNAs represent new avenues of investigation for drug discovery with several advantages over traditional protein-based targets; however, they come with their own unique set of challenges.

During the webinar the expert panel will:

  • Introduce the concept of using noncoding RNAs as therapeutic targets in human disease
  • Discuss the unique challenges of targeting functional RNA in vivo
  • Describe recent advances enabling effective in vivo inhibition of noncoding RNA
  • Answer audience questions during the live webinar.

Speaker bios

David R. Corey, Ph.D.

Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Campus
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Corey received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California at San Francisco. He has been in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Campus at Dallas since he joined as an assistant professor in 1992 and has since been promoted to associate professor and then to full professor in 2003. Dr. Corey has been an author on over 140 peer-reviewed papers and 16 book chapters, and holds 13 patents. In addition, he serves on several editorial boards for publications such as Cancer Research, Journal of RNAi and Gene Silencing, and Nucleic Acid Therapeutics. His group’s research interests include antigene oligonucleotides, antisense oligonucleotides, nucleic acids, RNAi, and telomerase. 

Stefanie Dimmeler, Ph.D.

Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration, Goethe-University
Frankfurt, Germany

Dr. Dimmeler received her undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Konstanz in Germany, followed by fellowships in experimental surgery at the University of Cologne and molecular cardiology at the University of Frankfurt. She has been professor of experimental medicine at the University of Frankfurt since 2001 and director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration, Center for Molecular Medicine since 2008. Dr. Dimmeler is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed papers, published in international, peer-reviewed journals. She received several awards including the Leibniz Award in 2005, the FEBS award in 2006, and the Award of the Jung Foundation 2007. Recently, she received the Science4life award and the GlaxoSmithKline Award. She is editor of EMBO Molecular Medicine and associate editor of Circulation Research and the European Heart Journal. Her group elucidates the basic mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease and vessel growth with the aim of developing new cellular and pharmacological therapies for improving the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Ongoing research focuses on epigenetic mechanisms that control cardiovascular repair, specifically the function of histone modifying enzymes and noncoding RNAs. 

Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld, Ph.D.

Department of Mouse Genetics and Metabolism, University of Cologne
Cologne, Germany

Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld was originally trained in cancer biology and immunology. During his Ph.D. studies (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Cancer Research (LBICR) in Vienna, Austria, he became interested in the molecular basis of obesity-associated liver cancer. He remained at the LBICR to pursue his postdoctoral training before moving to the Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne as an EMBO postdoctoral fellow. His research focused on the study of energy and glucose homeostasis and the role of noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs under conditions of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. He recently obtained independent funding within the framework of the Emmy-Noether Program of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). In the future, he would like to better understand the role of functional RNAs in the regulation of brown adipose tissue function.

Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D.

Science/AAAS
Washington, DC

Dr. Hicklin studied biology at Colorado State University for her undergraduate education before earning a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Prior to joining Science/AAAS, she worked as a science writer intern for the University of Colorado’s Office of Media and Public Relations in Denver, Colorado and for Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Media and Communications Office in Upton, New York. Dr. Hicklin is currently the assistant editor for the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office.

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