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K-State Today

October 22, 2020

Melissa J. Moore to present Division of Biology Seminar

Submitted by Division of Biology

Melissa J. Moore, chief scientific officer at Moderna Therapeutics, will present "mRNA as Medicine" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, via Zoom.

A new class of drugs wherein cells are programmed with synthetic messenger RNAs, or mRNAs, to make any desired protein — e.g., cytoplasmic, intraorganelle, membrane-bound, secreted — is an emergent technology with tremendous promise. The ability to simultaneously deliver multiple mRNAs species enables production of multiprotein complexes in their native state. mRNA therapeutics already in or soon to enter the clinic include mRNA-based vaccines — both prophylactic and therapeutic, pro-inflammatory cytokines as anticancer agents, an angiogenic factor for blood vessel regrowth in damaged heart muscle, and protein replacement therapies for treatment of metabolic diseases. Nonetheless, how to combat mRNA's inherent chemical and biological liability, how to direct therapeutic mRNAs to desired cell types, and how to enable repeat dosing without eliciting adverse immune reactions remain challenges for the field. Moore will discuss recent progress at Moderna in overcoming these challenges, with particular emphasis on the development of new technologies optimized for functional mRNA delivery.

If you would like to visit with Moore, please contact Shilpa Hebbar at shilpah@k-state.edu