Welcome
to RNA 2021!

The program includes four keynote lectures to be given by:

Jennifer Doudna (HHMI, University of California Berkeley, USA)
Xiang-dong Fu (University of California San Diego, USA)
Sarah-Woodson (Johns Hopkins University, USA)
Irene Bozzoni (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy)

Session Chairs and Moderators

Preliminary session plans may be modified depending on the abstracts received. The Mid- and Early-Career Award and the Scaringe Award talks will be incorporated into appropriate sessions.

Alternative Splicing and Regulation – Chairs: Zefeng Wang and Liana Lareau
Non-coding RNA Biogenesis and Modifications – Chairs: Brigitte Pertschy and Tao Pan
RNA Structure, Folding and Regulation – Chairs: Yue Wan and Chun Kit Kwok
Ribozymes and Riboswitches – Chairs: Alexander Serganov and Claudia Hobartner
CRISPR-Cas Biology and Applications – Chairs: Chase Beisel and Samuel Sternberg
Long Non-coding RNA Biology – Chairs: Karissa Sanbonmatsu and Selene Fernandez-Valverde
High Throughput Discovery – Chairs: Eric Van Nostrand and Alena Shkumatava
RNA Topics in Non-traditional Model Organisms – Chairs: Dasaradhi Palakodeti and Sathya Puthanveettil
RNP Assembly – Chairs: Livio Pellizzoni and Homa Ghalei
Subcellular RNA Localization and Spatial Transcriptomics – Chairs: Jingyi Fei and Marvin Tanenbaum
Bioinformatics and Genomics – Chairs: Uwe Ohler and Harold Pimentel
Origins of Life – Chair: Gerry Joyce
Interconnected Processes – Chairs: Stirling Churchman and Maayan Salton
Viral RNA and Innate Immune Response – Chairs: Blanton Tolbert and Kristen Lynch
RNA Modifications – Chairs: Stacy Horner and Chengqi Yi
RNP Granules and Phase Transitions – Chairs: Simon Alberti and Graciela Boccaccio
Synthesis and Processing of RNA – Chairs: Seychelle Vos and Vlad Pena
RNA in Disease – Chairs: Elif Sarinay-Cenik and Rotem Karni
RNA-based Therapeutics and Small-Molecule Interactions – Chairs: Amanda Hargrove and Michelle Hastings
RNA Turnover – Chairs: Sandra Wolin and Kate Meyer
Mechanisms and Regulation of Translation – Chairs: Hani Zaher and Neva Caliskan
Small RNAs – Chairs: Mofang Liu and Ignacio Rubio-Somoza

Scientific Topics
Bioinformatics & Genomics
Chromatin & Epigenetics
Chemical Biology of RNA
New Technologies
Extracellular RNA
Granules & Condensates
High through-put discovery
Interconnected RNA Processes
Long Non-coding RNAs & Circular RNAs
Origins of Life and evolution
Regulatory RNAs in Bacteria & Archaea
Ribosome Biogenesis & Modification
Ribozymes & Riboswitches
RNA & Cellular Immunity
RNA & Disease
RNA Modification & Editing
RNA Nanotechnology
RNA Structure, Folding & Modeling
RNA Synthetic Biology & Systems Biology
RNA Transport & Localization
RNA Turnover
RNPs: Biogenesis, Structure & Function
Polyadenylation & 3′ end formation
Small Non-coding RNAs in Eukaryotes
Splicing Mechanism
Splicing Regulation & Alternative Splicing
Targeting RNA for Therapy & Diagnostics
Transcription: Mechanism & Biology
Translation Mechanism
Translation Regulation
tRNA: Processing and Function
Viral RNAs

The majority of the RNA 2021 program will include sessions featuring talks selected from submitted abstracts. In the spirit of RNA society conferences, preference will be given to abstracts to be presented by graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, and junior PIs and that feature recent or unpublished work.  We encourage young scientists to submit their work for oral presentation!

Poster Sessions

Posters will be presented online in PDF format with a brief audio introduction.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel

The RNA Society is committed to creating a safe space for discussions to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our community. To facilitate this goal, a panel of experienced speakers from industry to academia to NIH, to LGBTQ+ representation and overcoming adversity & displacement will share their perspectives on DEI within the scientific community/RNA Society. They will also answer questions from the audience in this live format panel discussion. Speakers include Tracy Johnson, HHMI Professor and Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Dean of UCLA Division of Life Sciences, Mo Motamedi, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Mass General Hosp, Harvard Medical School, Holly Winter, Sr. Vice President of Human Resources at Locanabio, Mike Summers, HHMI investigator and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Barbara Golden, Professor of Biochemistry at Purdue University and Anissa Brown, Program Director at the NIH (NIGMS). This panel will function as an open discussion to inform on concrete actions that we can take to promote DEI within the RNA Society. We hope you join us for this fabulous event!

Entrepreneurship Panel

Have you considered starting a biotech company or becoming involved in a new biotech company? Find out about the challenges and opportunities first-hand from scientists in our own RNA Society community that have co-founded companies in the US, Israel, UK, China and Singapore. Our inaugural Entrepreneurship panel will be chaired and moderated by Peter Chu, co-founder and CEO of Eclipse Bioinnovations in San Diego, and will include esteemed pioneers Rachel Haurwitz, co-founder and CEO of Caribou Biosciences, Noam Shomron, Professor at Tel Aviv University and co-founder of Variantyx , Eric Miska, Professor at the University of Cambridge and co-founder of Storm Therapeutics, Kevin Weeks, Professor at UNC Chapel Hill, co-founder of Ribometrix, Yun Yang, Associate Professor at CAS-MPG Institute of Computational Biology, Shanghai and co-founder of CircCode and Too Heng-Phon, Associate Professor at National University of Singapore, co-founder of MIRXES. Discussion topics include licensing, fund-raising, hiring and managing the first employees, corporate culture and partnering with pharmaceutical companies.

Biotechnology Career Panel

If you find yourself interested in learning more about a variety of careers in biotech, please attend our exciting Biotechnology Career Panel chaired by Joseph Lewcock, CSO of Denali Therapeutics and Gene Yeo, Professor at UC San Diego. Our impressive panel includes Jim Burns, CEO of Locanabio, Kristina Bower in Patient Advocacy at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Samantha Murphy PhD, Biotech Corporate Development Consultant, Kathleen McGinness, Senior Director and Head of RNA Biology at Arrakis, Katie Warner, Vice President of R&D at Ribometrix and Erin Soto, Patent Agent at Ionis. Discussion topics include personal anecdotes of their journeys, advice to our junior scientists and perspectives about the future of RNA therapeutics and biology in biotechnology.

Job and Collaboration Jamboree in Academia

Are you actively looking for collaborations or a new position in academia? Do you have an open position waiting to be filled? If so please participate in our Jobs and Collaborations in Academia Event. We as Junior RNA Scientists aim to facilitate career advancement and collaborations during these “no-travel allowed” times. During registration you will be asked whether you are looking for a job/have an open position in academia and if you are open for collaborations and which techniques you may offer or require. We will therefore organize a virtual event space including local chats and breakout rooms for people to connect. PIs will have the possibility of posting job positions and researchers will be able to indicate that they are looking for a position by text or short video presentation. Additionally, attendees will be able to post collaboration requests and offerings. By this event as well as the job- collaboration-postings, we will counteract the divisive forces of the pandemic by mimicking in-person interactions and establishing a platform for career development. This event is organized by the Junior Scientists Malgorzata Rogalska, Simon Hoser, Luc Roberts and Liana Boraas.

Jr Scientists Social Event

Are you a junior researcher hoping to interact and connect with other junior researchers in a similar way as was possible pre-Covid? Then join us for the Junior RNA Scientists Social Event! We will recreate a classical conference style situation where researchers talk to each other during a coffee break or between talks. The regular RNA in-person scientific meetings combine the presentation of cutting-edge research with the casual and professional interactions among scientists from different backgrounds. These brief interactions can be eye-opening and are crucial for generating a peer base for future endeavors. By providing a virtual event space at multiple points during the conference, it will be possible to connect at different virtual tables depending on your interests and also switch between tables. During registration you will be asked to indicate whether or not you’re interested. Join us for a recap after some exciting talks and have a drink with us, we are looking forward to seeing you! This event is hosted by the Junior Scientists Malgorzata Rogalska, Simon Hoser, Luc Roberts and Liana Boraas.

Bioinformatics Grand Challenges

Are you interested in sharpening your data analysis and coding skills? Performing computational analysis to make new discoveries about RNA regulation and RNA binding proteins? Then take part in our RNA Bioinformatics Challenges along with your peers!

As a highlight of the RNA Society 2021 meeting, we would like to solicit participation in two community efforts that aim at evaluating and/or developing computational methods focusing on these two areas of unmet need:

 

 

Participants in these bioinformatic challenges will work together in teams to perform individual aspects of the process, from defining the evaluation procedure, to performing the analysis, and developing new methods. The expected outcomes include a presentation at the RNA Society Meeting in 2021, publication of a manuscript describing the results, and awards of travel fellowship for the RNA Society meeting in 2022.