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Scalable platforms for generating RNA sensors and controllers

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Air date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 3:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 210 (99 Live, 111 On-demand)
Category: WALS - Wednesday Afternoon Lectures
Runtime: 01:02:26
Description: NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

DeWitt Stetten, Jr. Lecture

Nature magazine named Dr. Smolke one of "ten people who mattered" in 2015 for her engineering a yeast strain capable of making painkillers.* Her lab is now developing RNA molecules that can serve as biosensors to alert us of a disease state of a cell.

Whether animals are looking for food or mates, or avoiding pathogens and predators, they rely on biosensors—molecules that allow animals to sense and respond to their environments. Creating new kinds of biosensors to receive, process, and transmit molecular information is the focus of Dr. Smolke's research. Dr. Smolke innovative approaches for designing biomolecules have applications in diagnostics, drug development, green chemistry, and more. Her lab has created RNA molecules, or switches, that can detect the disease state of a cell. The switches are being further developed for targeted drug delivery. Despite these successes, however, current methods for designing biomolecules remain inefficient and laborious. To improve the design of biomolecules, Dr. Smolke is developing high-throughput methods to obtain information about the biochemical activity of millions of RNA switches in a single experiment. These data are used for producing new computational methods to predict the function of RNA molecules based on their sequence and structure. Dr. Smolke's work may accelerate our ability to rapidly design and build biomolecules for a variety of applications in medicine and environmental conservation.

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Author: Christina D. Smolke, Ph.D., Stanford University
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CIT Live ID: 35103
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