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The mission of the RNA Bioscience Initiative (RBI) is to cultivate a vibrant center of discovery and innovation in RNA biology, informatics, diagnostics, and therapy. Our goal is to provide a fluid pipeline from basic to clinical RNA research at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
Therapeutic compounds that contain RNA-binding small molecules linked to molecules targeting bound RNA for degradation may one day be used to fight cancer. Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL recently "created an encyclopedia of druggable RNA folds". Using this information, they were able to selectively destroy mRNAs encoding the cancer promoting MYC protein.
Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York have partnered with BioNTech in Germany to produce and administer personalized mRNA vaccines designed to train the immune systems of individual patients to attack their own pancreatic tumor cells. The strategy showed great promise when used in combination with more standard treatments. A larger trial is planned in the near future.
May 22, 2023
Dr. Aaron Johnson, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, RBI director of education, and Biomedical Sciences Program director was recently awarded a Doctoral Mentoring Award from the Dean of the Graduate School. A much deserved recognition for a passionate educator... CONGRATULATIONS Aaron!
April 25, 2023
Dr. Li, a postdoctoral fellow in RBI's Jagannathan Lab, was recently awarded a Path to a Cure fellowship to fund his work examining the role of NMD in cystic fibrosis (CF) and determining method of modulating NMD efficiency. Congratulations Zhongyou!
Learn more about the CF Foundation
April 17, 2023
RBI partnered with the Colorado RNA Club to host the 2nd annual Rocky Mountain RNA Symposium on Friday, April 14th in the Elliman Conference Center. Our incredible one day event featured rising stars in the RNA world – Ariel Bazzini, PhD (Stowers Institute), Susan Shao, PhD (Harvard), Siggy Nachtergaele, PhD (Yale), and Derrick Morton, PhD (USC), and trainees Dylan Parker, PhD (CU Boulder), Naly Torres (CSU), Chloe Barrington (CU Anschutz), Thomas Forman (CU Anschutz), and Maddie Sherlock (CU Anschutz). Congratulations to poster winners Majo Blanco Salazar (Stowers), Lauryn Higginson (USC), and Gretchen Fixen (CSU). Special thanks to our organizing committee and our corporate sponsors!
May 25, 2023
Hossein Shenasa and David L. Bentley
Transcription of eukaryotic genes by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) yields RNA pre- cursors containing introns that must be spliced out and the flanking exons ligated together. Splicing is catalyzed by a dynamic ribonucleoprotein complex called the spliceosome. Recent evidence has shown that a large fraction of splicing occurs cotranscriptionally as the RNA chain is extruded from Pol II at speeds of up to 5 kb/minute. Splicing is more efficient when it is tethered to the transcription elongation complex, and this linkage permits functional coupling of splicing with transcription. We discuss recent progress... Complete Article
March 3, 2023
Raeann Goering, Ankita Arora, Megan C Pockalny, J Matthew Taliaferro
RNA molecules are localized to specific subcellular regions through interactions between RNA regulatory elements and RNA binding proteins (RBPs). Generally, our knowledge of the mechanistic details behind the localization of a given RNA is restricted to a particular cell type. Here, we show that RNA/RBP interactions that regulate RNA localization in one cell type predictably regulate localization in other cell types with vastly different morphologies. To determine transcriptome-wide RNA spatial distributions across the apicobasal axis of human intestinal epithelial cells, we used our recently developed RNA proximity labeling technique, Halo-seq. We found that mRNAs encoding ribosomal proteins (RP mRNAs)... Complete Abstract
The RBI has made CU Anschutz a clear hub of RNA biology expertise, raising the status of the university and its researchers in the eyes of scientists at institutions around the country and the world. The RBI sets CU Anschutz up as a leader in the exciting and groundbreaking field of RNA biology.
Amy Campbell, PhD
RBI Co-Director, David Bentley, PhD, was interviewed by 9News reporter Anusha Roy and featured on Next with Kyle Clark. In this piece Dr. Bentley expertly describes the future of mRNA technology and its possible therapeutic uses beyond the COVID vaccine.