New Center for RNA Science and Medicine Poised to Become an Epicenter for RNA-Focused Inquiry and Innovation

March 13, 2024 by

Roger Abounader and Hui Li UVA

Roger Abounader, PhD (left) and Hui Li, PhD

In a significant leap forward for RNA science and medicine, five schools at the University of Virginia have joined hands to inaugurate a groundbreaking collaborative center aimed at driving advancements in the understanding and application of RNA technologies. Spearheaded by a consortium of clinical and academic faculty, this initiative marks a pivotal moment in interdisciplinary research, promising to revolutionize treatments for a myriad of diseases.

The newly established Center for RNA Science and Medicine (CRSM) brings together top-tier educators and researchers from diverse backgrounds, spanning molecular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and computational biology. With membership reaching five different schools and over forty different laboratories and counting, the CRSM is poised to become an epicenter for RNA-focused inquiry and innovation.

At its core, the CRSM aims to foster collaborative endeavors that transcend traditional academic boundaries, leveraging the collective expertise of its members to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in RNA science and medicine. From decoding the intricacies of RNA mechanisms to developing novel therapeutic interventions, the center aspires to drive transformative discoveries with profound implications for human health.

The interdisciplinary nature of the CRSM holds the promise of catalyzing breakthroughs across a spectrum of research domains, from fundamental studies elucidating RNA’s role in gene regulation to translational efforts aimed at developing RNA-based therapeutics for a range of conditions, including cancer, genetic disorders, and infectious diseases.

The Center for RNA Science and Medicine has earned the prestigious recognition as an officially recognized RNA Salon by the RNA Society, a globally renowned organization dedicated to fostering collaboration and innovation in RNA research and education. This acknowledgment underscores the center’s commitment to excellence and its role in advancing the frontiers of RNA science and medicine on an international scale.

Leading the charge at the Center for RNA Science and Medicine are Roger Abounader, PhD, a professor of microbiology, immunology, and cancer biology and Hui Li, PhD, a professor of pathology, whose expertise and leadership have been instrumental in shaping the center’s vision and objectives. Supported by a distinguished steering committee comprised of eminent researchers from the University of Virginia, including Muge Kuyumcu-Martinez, PhD, Mariano Garcia-Blanco, MD, PhD, and Anuradha Illendula, PhD, the center is poised to chart new territories in RNA research and translate scientific discoveries into tangible clinical applications.

Filed Under: Research