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RNA Collaborative Seminar Series

The RNA Collaborative seminar series goal is to cross promote RNA research and strengthen and connect the RNA scientific community. These seminars are organized by the RNA Centers of the following institutions: Current RNA Collaborative participating centers include: MD Anderson Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNAsHarvard Medical School Initiative for RNA MedicineNCI RNA Biology InitiativeRiboClub SherbrookeThe RNA Institute, University At AlbanyUMass Medical School, RNA Therapeutics InstituteUniversity of Michigan Center for RNA BiomedicineUniversity of Rochester Center for RNA BiologyYale Center for RNA Science and MedicineEuropean Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Shanghai RNA Club, The Bay Area RNA Club (BARC)UCSC Center for Molecular Biology of RNA, and NUS-CSI Singapore RNA Biology CenterPenn RNA Group, University of PennsylvaniaHelmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection ResearchCambridge RNA ClubGroupe de Recherche RNA.

We encourage RNA Centers across the world to join us. If your RNA Center is interested in joining this collaborative, please contact Martina Jerant at

Seminars are held virtually every other Wednesday, at either 9:00 am ET (1:00 pm GMT) or 4:00 pm ET (8:00 pm GMT) depending on the host institution and are recorded and made freely available for viewing on the RNA Collaborative YouTube Channel. Seminars are open for viewing by all interested researchers, but prior registration is required to access the streaming content.

Upcoming Seminars

Oct 20, 2021, 9 AM ET  Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research
Chase Beisel, PhD “CRISPR-Cas systems and the dilemma(s) of adaptive immunity”
Antoine-Emmanuel Saliba, PhD "Uncovering host-pathogen interaction modalities using single-cell RNA-seq and RNA metabolic labeling"
Moderator: Neva Caliskan, Ph.D.
Zoom Registration link:

Nov 3, 2021, 4 PM ET  UCSC Center for Molecular Biology of RNA
Jeremy Sanford, PhD “TBA”
Moderator: TBA
Zoom Registration link: TBA

Nov 17, 2021, 4 PM ET  The RNA Institute, University At Albany
Speakers TBA, “Title talk TBA”
Moderator: TBA
Zoom link: TBA  

Dec 1, 2021, 4 PM ET  Penn RNA Group - University of Pennsylvania
Peter Choi, PhD “TItle TBA”
Kathryn Hamilton, PhD "TItle TBA"
Moderator: TBA
Zoom Registration link: TBA  

Dec 15, 2021, 4 PM ET  Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine
Speakers TBA, “Title talk TBA”
Moderator: TBA
Zoom link: TBA  

Previous Seminars

Oct 6, 2021  RNA Biology Center, CSI-NUS
Polly CHEN “Crosstalk between RNA editing and RNA splicing”
Yvonne TAY "Widespread 3’UTR splicing promotes oncogene expression and tumorigenesis"
Moderator: Daniel G.TENEN
Registration link:

Sep 22, 2021  NCI RNA Biology Initiative
Astrid Haase, MD, PhD “A small RNA perspective on genomic conflict”
John (Jay) Schneekloth, Jr, PhD "Targeting RNA with small molecules: tools and tactics"
Moderator: Sandra Wolin, MD, PhD

Sep 8, 2021
Host: University of Rochester Center for RNA Biology, USA
David Mathews, MD, PhD: Talk Title TBA
Dragony Fu, PhD: Talk Title TBA
Moderator: Lynne Maquat, PhD

Aug 25, 2021
Host: Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), Germany
Prof. Dorothee Dormann: “Regulation of neurodegeneration-linked RNA-binding proteins by nuclear import receptors and post-translational modifications”
Prof. René Ketting: “Small RNAs and epigenetic inheritance”
Moderator: Julian König

Aug 11, 2021
Host: RiboClub, Canada
Éric Lécuyer, PhD: “Insights into the subcellular travels of cellular RNAs and RNA binding proteins”
Moderator: Sherif Abou Elela

Jul 14, 2021 iRNA @ Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
Stefano Gustincich, PhD“SINEUPs: a new functional class of antisense long non-coding RNAs”
Moderator: Prof. Gian Gaetano Tartaglia

Jun 30, 2021  University of Michigan, Center for RNA Biomedicine
Sethu Pitchiaya, Ph.D. “Dynamic multivalent interactions drive mammalian RNA regulation”
Chase Weidmann, Ph.D. "Characterizing cellular RNA-protein interaction networks with chemical probes"
Moderator: Nils Walter, Ph.D.

Jun 16, 2021  Yale Center for RNA Science and Medicine
Wendy V. Gilbert, PhD “Revealing new functions for ancient RNA modifying enzymes in health and disease”
Antonio Giraldez, PhD "Mechanisms of posttranscriptional regulation during the maternal to zygotic transition"

Jun 2, 2021  European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Lena Anastasakou, Ph.D. “An evolutionarily conserved structure-to-function axis governs the functional mechanism of the regulatory lncRNA MEG3”
François Dossin, Ph.D. "Mechanistic dissection of SPEN function during X chromosome inactivation."

May 19, 2021  GDR RNA (@RNA_CNRS)
Jean-Louis Mergny, Ph.D. “Quadruplexes are everywhere”
Alexandre David, Ph.D. "RNA Epigenetics steers colorectal cancer cell fate"

May 5, 2021  Cambridge RNA Club

April 21, 2021 Shanghai RNA Club

April 7, 2021 The Bay Area RNA Club (BARC)

March 24, 2021  UMass Medical School, RNA Therapeutics Institute
Li Li, Ph.D.“Efficient chemical RNA copying with 2-aminoimidazole activated nucleotides”
Wenwen Fang, Ph.D.“Sensing RNA: from microRNA biogenesis to innate immunity”
Moderator: Erik Sontheimer, Ph.D.

March 10, 2021  Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute (ARRTI)
Luc Roberts, Ph.D.“Grad School to Biotech: A start up perspective”
Kristi Turton & Riya Roy“RNA Innovation: The power of academic and industry collaborations”
Zoom link:

March 3, 2021 HOST: The University of Michigan, Center for RNA Biomedicine (special guest seminar)
Melissa J. Moore, Ph.D., Moderna Therapeutics, "A timely confluence: The backstory of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine"
Moderator: Nils Walter, Ph.D., Co-Director, U-M Center for RNA Biomedicine
Zoom registration required:  
February 24, 2021 Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI)
Neva Caliskan, Ph.D., "Structural and molecular basis for Cardiovirus 2A protein as a viral gene expression switch"
Mathias Munschauer, Ph.D., "The SARS-CoV-2 RNA–protein interactome in infected human cells"
Moderator: Redmond Smyth, Ph.D.
Zoom link:

January 13, 2021 NCI RNA Biology Initiative 
Nicholas Guydosh, PhD “Ribosome collisions and sites of quality control revealed by ribosome profiling
Katherine McJunkin, PhD  “CRISPR screening to identify biologically important microRNA targets
Moderator: Sandra Wolin, MD, PhD
Registration link:

December 16, 2020  European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Ina Huppertz, Ph.D. “RNA regulates Glycolysis and Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation via Enolase 1
Olivier Duss, Ph.D.  “Co-transcriptional RNP complex assembly in real-time: How transient protein-RNA interactions guide nascent ribosomal RNA folding
Moderator: Matthias Hentze, MD

December 2, 2020 University of California, Santa Cruz
Daniel Kim, PhD “RAS signaling regulates the noncoding transcriptome
Susan Carpenter, PhD How do noncoding RNAs contribute to inflammation?
Moderator: Harry Noller, PhD

November 18, 2020  Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine
Suneet Agarwal, M.D., Ph.D. “Targeting telomerase RNA in degenerative diseases
Carmelo Nucera. M.D., Ph.D.  “Role of coding and non-coding genes in aggressive thyroid cancer
Moderator: Frank Slack, PhD

November 4, 2020 University of Rochester Center for RNA Biology
Paul Boutz, Ph.D. “Tumors taking the short cut: CDK12 and CDK13 in early transcription termination and nuclear RNA surveillance
Clara Kielkopf, Ph.D.  “Targeting U2AF: A vulnerable rheostat of pre-mRNA splicing
Moderator: David Mathews, MD, PhD

October 21, 2020 University of Pennsylvania RNA Group
Kathy Fange Liu, Ph.D. "RNA species dance to the beat of modifications
Yoseph Barash, Ph.D. "Splicing quantification from RNASeq - How to get the signal out of the noise?"
Moderator: Jeremy Wilusz, Ph.D.

October 7, 2020 The RNA Institute, University at Albany
Joseph Wade, Ph.D. “Pervasive translation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis” 
Scott Tenenbaum, Ph.D., “sxRNA: The Engineering of trans-Acting 3-Way Junctions for Function” 
Moderator: Thomas Begely, Ph.D.  

September 9, 2020 The University of Michigan, Center for RNA Biomedicine
Sue Hammoud, Ph.D. "Same Same Different: Single cell RNAseq identifies conserved and divergent features of mammalian spermatogenesis"
Justin Colacino, Ph.D. "Single cell transcriptomic profiling to understand breast stem cell heterogeneity in development and cancer disparities"
Moderator: Mats Ljungman, Ph.D 

August 26, 2020 Yale Center for RNA Science and Medicine 
Siyuan (Steven) Wang, Ph.D.  “Image-based spatial genomics and transcriptomics
Junjie Guo, Ph.D. “RNA decay deficits cause neurodegeneration in ALS/FTD”   
Moderator: Karla Neugebauer 

August 12, 2020 NCI RNA Biology Initiative
Shuo Gu, Ph.D.  “A tale of tails: How 3’ uridylation alters miRNA function”
Voula Mili, Ph.D. “Local co-translational interactions control protein function”
Moderator: Sandra L. Wolin, MD, PhD 

July 29, 2020 Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine 
Tim Yu, MD, PhD. “Prospects for hyper-individualized RNA medicines”
Shobha Vasudevan, Ph.D. “A specialized post-transcriptional program in chemoresistant, quiescent cancer cells”
Moderator: Frank Slack, Ph.D. 

July 15, 2020 University of Rochester Center for RNA Biology 
Mitch O’Connell, Ph.D. “Programmable RNA-targeting by CRISPR-Cas enzymes”
Xin Li, Ph.D. “Coupled protein synthesis and ribosome-guided piRNA processing on mRNAs”
Moderator: Lynne Maquat, Ph.D.  
July 1, 2020 MD Anderson Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNAs
Dr. Simone Anfossi, Ph.D. “ncRNAs: ‘inside out’ cancer regulomers”
Dr. Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Ph.D. “Therapeutic Targeting of ncRNAs in Cancer”
Moderator: George Calin

June 17, 2020 UMass Medical School, RNA Therapeutics Institute
Athma Pai, Ph.D. “How efficiently do cells create mRNA? Balancing speed and accuracy in gene regulation”
Jonathan Watts, Ph.D. “Fighting an RNA virus with an RNA drug”
Moderator: Phil Zamore 

June 3, 2020 Riboclub, Sherbrooke
Francois Bachand, Ph.D. “Nutrient-dependent control of RNA polymerase II elongation rate regulates gene expression programs by alternative polyadenylation”
Andrew McMillan, Ph.D. “Spliceosome Structure: Can the Blind Men Now Describe the Elephant?”
Moderator: Sherif Abou Elela

May 20, 2020 The RNA Institute, University At Albany
Morgan Sammons, Ph.D. “Regulatory paradigms controlling a core stress response”
Alan Chen, Ph.D. “Simulating RNA folding pathways in 3D using sparse experimental constraints”
Moderator: Marlene Belfort, Ph.D.

May 6, 2020 University of Michigan Center for RNA Biomedicine
Peter Freddolino, Ph.D. “It’s not the gene, it’s the neighborhood: Effects of large scale chromosomal structure on bacterial transcription”
Stephanie Moon, Ph.D. “A link between translation quality control and mRNA targeting to stress granules”
Moderator: Nils Walter, Ph.D.

April 22, 2020 Yale Center for RNA Science and Medicine
Sarah Slavoff, Ph.D. “Regulation of RNA decapping and phase separation by a human polypeptide”
Nadya Dimitova, Ph.D. “Long Noncoding RNAs in Cancer: What, Where and How?”
Moderator: Karla Neugebauer, Ph.D.