The RNA Transcript, February 1, 2021
TODAY, Monday, February 1, 4:00–5:00 pm | U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine, RNA Innovation Seminar Series
ZOOM REGISTRATION REQUIRED (please register early)

“Regulating the axonal proteome through mRNA transport and translation”
SmartState Chair in Childhood Neurotherapeutics
Professor of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina
WEBINAR: February 10, 2021, 4:00– 5:00pm EST

“A timely confluence:
the backstory of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine”
Melissa Moore, Chief Scientific Officer at Moderna Therapeutics

Under Dr. Moore’s scientific leadership, Moderna Therapeutics developed one of the two mRNA-based vaccines authorized for emergency use in the US. READ MORE

Dr. Moore received the prestigious
2021 RNA Society Lifetime Achievement in Science Award

This webinar is hosted by the University of Michigan Center for RNA Biomedicine within the RNA Collaborative Seminar Series. The RNA Collaborative groups 20 RNA research centers and institutions worldwide. It is supported by The RNA Society. MORE INFO ABOUT THE RNA COLLABORATIVE
Congratulations Kristin Koutmou, Ph.D, Chemistry, for receiving an NSF Career Award for your project: "Molecular level consequences of mRNA modification."

Read Dr. Koutmou's "RNA featured scientist" profile here.

Visit Koutmou Lab
Mats Ljungman, Ph.D., Radiation Oncology, Medical School, and co-director of the Center for RNA Biomedicine (left), with co-investigators Anna Schwendeman, Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy (center), and Philip Palmbos, M.D., Ph.D., Internal Medicine, Medical School (right) received a University of Michigan (U-M) MTRAC grant for the proposal titled “Universal cancer targeting using precision CRISPR technology.” Huibin Yang, Radhika Suhas-Hulbatte, Natalie Gratsch and Alan Kellher are part of this team.
MTRAC for Life Sciences is administered by Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) and the U-M Office of Technology Transfer, with aid from the MEDC and the University of Michigan Office of Research. The remaining funds have been provided by the U-M Department of Radiation Oncology.
Tuesday, February 2, 3:00 pm | U-M Human Genetics Short Course

"Welcome to the Exciting World of Tandem and Interspersed DNA Repeats"
Introductory Lecture, Kenneth Cadigan, Ph.D., Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, College of LSA, University of Michigan
Tuesday, February 2, 3:00 pm | Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine Technology Showcase
ZOOM Password: 759932

"ncRNA in DNA damage signaling"
Fabrizio d'Adda di Fagagna, Ph.D. is a cell and molecular biologist that studies the involvement of the DNA damage response (DDR) pathways in physiologically-relevant processes such as aging and cancer.
Thursday, February 4, 12:00–1:00 pm | U-M Life Sciences Institute Seminar Series

"Structural biophysics of RNA interactions that contribute to viral replication"
Blanton S. Tolbert, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University
Hosted by: Janet Smith, Ph.D.
Wednesday, February 10, 4:00–5:00 pm EST | RNA Collaborative Seminar Series, hosted by the U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine


“A timely confluence: the backstory of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine”
Melissa Moore, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Moderna Therapeutics
Moderator: Nils G. Walter, Ph.D.
Wednesday, February 10, 10:30 am EST | EMBL, free course

Exploring non‐coding RNAs in RNAcentral
RNAcentral is a database of non-coding RNA sequences that provides a unified view of >40 specialised databases. This webinar will give an overview of the data found in RNAcentral as well as the RNAcentral website.
Thursday and Friday, March 11–12, 2021 NHLBI Long Non-coding (lnc) RNAs Symposium: from Basic Mechanism to Human Disease

This virtual symposium will bring together basic scientists and clinicians in order to foster new and productive research collaborations towards both basic and translational advances, as well as offer valuable training and presentation opportunities for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculties.

The Call for Abstracts is now open and accepting submissions until February 12: 
May 25–June 5 | 26th Annual Meeting of The RNA Society (virtual)
RNA 2021 On-line boasts an expanded scientific program and extensive networking and professional development opportunities for participants. Visit the meeting website for full details and to register

New for 2021, the RNA Society has launched an initiative to encourage meeting participation and inclusion of RNA researchers who might not otherwise be able register for RNA 2021 – the RNA 2021 Inclusion Initiative. This program provides complementary registration for RNA Society members who are first-time meeting attendees or who affiliate with a broad group of under-represented RNA researchers.

Registered meeting participants can submit abstracts until March 1st, 2021 for consideration for an oral presentation, and April 15th, 2021 for poster presentation.
Contact Elisabeth Paymal for press releases and blog articles of your upcoming publications. MORE INFORMATION

Our members' publications are available through Altmetric. Five queries are currently available: "RNA," "microRNA," "Transcriptome," "Translation," and "Molecule." Please make sure to have at least one of these key words in your title or abstract. Below are recent highlights.
Multi-trait transcriptome-wide association studies with probabilistic Mendelian randomization, Lu Liu, Ping Zeng, Fuzhong Xue, Zhongshang Yuan, Xiang Zhou, American Journal of Human Genetics, January 2021, DOI10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.12.006Pubmed ID33434493

Keywords: Transcriptome-wide association studies, multiple traits, probabilistic Mendelian randomization, PRM, pleiotropy, UK Biobank, blood pressure
Transcriptomic signatures and repurposing drugs for COVID-19 patients: findings of bioinformatics analyses, GuobingLi, ShashaRuan, XiaoluZhao, QiLiu, Yali Dou, Fengbiao Mao, Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, Volume 19, 2021, Pages 1-15,

... we systematically evaluated the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on gene expression of both lung tissue and blood from COVID-19 patients using transcriptome profiling....
Disease-associated mutations in mitochondrial precursor tRNAs affect binding, m1R9 methylation and tRNA processing by mtRNase P
2020 Dec 30; rna.077198.120. doi: 10.1261/rna.077198.120. 

Mitochondrial diseases linked to mutations in mitochondrial (mt) tRNA sequences are common. However, the contributions of these tRNA mutations to the development of diseases is mostly unknown. Mutations may affect interactions with (mt)tRNA maturation enzymes or protein synthesis machinery leading to mitochondrial dysfunction...
Job Opportunities
Join the P. Todd, M.D., Ph.D., lab at the University of Michigan, Neurology department. Positions are now open for Graduate students and Postdoctoral fellows.

We study both the normal roles these repeats play in neurobiology and neurologic diseases such as ALS, Ataxia, Dementia, and Fragile X Syndrome that result from their expansion. We do this using flies, rodents, and human patient iPSC and hESC derived neurons coupled with biochemical, bioinformatic and molecular tools to understand mechanisms of pathogenesis and develop novel therapeutic strategies.

Candidates from diverse backgrounds and under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. More information here.