Einstein’s 2020 Stem Cell Symposium Spotlights RNA Biology and Gene Editing

January 13, 2020—(BRONX, NY)—On Friday, January 17, Albert Einstein College of Medicine will host its 4th Stem Cell Symposium. This year’s event will feature lectures from leading investigators in the fields of RNA biology and the use of gene editing in stem cell research.

“New gene editing techniques and emerging work on the role of RNA in stem cells are promising developments in our field,” said Paul Frenette, M.D., chair and director of the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and professor of medicine and of cell biology. “Our symposium brings great speakers together for an afternoon to share their scientific findings and open horizons for new research collaborations.”

Paul Frenette, M.D.

Paul Frenette, M.D.

The RNA molecules’ roles in cell biology are multi-faceted: They translate the genetic code to make proteins, modify how DNA is transmitted within cells, and can be used to target the expression of harmful genes. In 2006, two scientists in the United States won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their studies on RNA interference, known as RNAi.

“These molecules are so important for many aspects of life, and their modification and use, including as guides for gene editing, have exciting translational potential,” said Dr. Frenette. “There are many ongoing clinical trials using various aspects of RNA biology to target genes responsible for a variety of conditions, including sickle cell disease and blood cancers.”

Einstein’s stem cell symposium will be held from 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. at LeFrak Auditorium in the Michael F. Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine/Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion on Einstein’s Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. The scheduled lectures are:

  • “Mechanisms of Genome Activation after Fertilization and their Roles in Developmental Reprogramming,” Antonio Giraldez, Ph.D., Fergus F. Wallace Professor of Genetics and chair, department of genetics, Yale School of Medicine
  • “RNA Regulators in Normal and Malignant Stem Cells,” Michael Kharas, Ph.D., associate professor, division of molecular pharmacology program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  •  “Genetic Mechanisms of Aging,” Anne Brunet, Ph.D., Michele and Timothy Barakett Endowed Professor, department of genetics, Stanford University
  • “Regulation of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Differentiation by Novel RNA-binding Proteins,” Iannis Aifantis, Ph.D., Hermann M. Biggs Professor of Pathology and chair, department of pathology, NYU Langone Health
  • “Innate Immune Deaminase Deregulation Drives Pre-cancer Stem Cell Generation,” Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center; professor of medicine and chief, division of regenerative medicine, Koman Family Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, director, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, director, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Alpha Stem Cell Clinic, University of California San Diego Health
  • “Genome Editing of Stem Cells,” Matthew Porteus, M.D., Ph.D., professor, department of pediatrics, stem cell transplantation and regenerative medicine, Stanford University