Symposium Explores RNA and its Therapeutic Potential

January 17-18, 2023

UF Scripps Biomedical Research

Rodney B. Fink Auditorium

120 Scripps Way, Jupiter, Florida 33458

Double-stranded RNA structure from Disney Lab at UF Scripps
Double-stranded RNA structure from Disney Lab at UF Scripps

Until recently, most researchers deemed RNA to be undruggable as a disease target. No more. The recent success of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 show that RNA does not just cause disease. It can be both prevention and cure, as well.

Scientists and students are invited to visit UF Scripps Biomedical Research on Tuesday, Jan. 17 and Wednesday, Jan. 18 for a free symposium, “RNA: From Biology to Drug Discovery.” Hear from scientific luminaries who have revealed intriguing facets of the biology and structure of noncoding RNA, and meet some of the researchers who have challenged conventional wisdom to  devise compounds that target, bind, edit and degrade disease-associated RNAs. Join a poster session to learn about new, emerging research in the field.

Speakers include experts in computation and biophysics; those uncovering intricacies of ribosomes, and those working toward treatment of diseases including myotonic dystrophy, ALS, Parkinson’s, cancer, Rett syndrome and viral diseases including COVID-19 and HIV. The universe of human proteins consists of about 20,000 varieties, while the universe of human RNAs is closer to 200,000, potentially offering myriad new opportunities to address genetic diseases with few or no options.


Advance registration is required for attendance, which is free for scientists, students and other guests, thanks to a generous grant from UF Health.

RNA: From Biology to Drug Discovery

Please register for the symposium here.
Please state your professional title or student status
Please identify your place of work or education.
Please indicate if you will:

Registration closes on Jan. 5, 2023, or when full. Questions? Contact

Back to Top

Confirmed Speakers


HHMI Investigator, Stephen W. Kuffler Chair in Biology; Department of Neurobiology; UC San Diego

Susan Ackerman, Ph.D.

Dr. Ackerman’s pioneering work using mouse genetics has identified novel genes, pathways, and networks involved in neurodevelopment and the maintenance of neuronal homeostasis and age-related death of neurons in the central nervous system.

Howard Chang

Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research; Professor of Genetics Dermatology; Stanford University

Howard Chang, M.D., Ph.D.

Howard Y. Chang M.D., Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Personal Dynamic Regulomes and the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research at Stanford University. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; he is also Professor of Dermatology and of Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Matthew Disney

Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry; UF Scripps Biomedical Research

Matthew D. Disney, Ph.D.

Matthew D. Disney, Ph.D. is Professor and Char of the Department of Chemistry with the UF Scripps Biomedical research. The Disney group develops rational approaches to design selective therapeutics from only genome sequence.

Rachel Green

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Rachel Green, Ph.D.

Rachel Green began her scientific career majoring in chemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Her doctoral work was performed at Harvard in the laboratory of Jack Szostak where she studied RNA enzymes and developed methodologies for evolving RNAs in vitro.

Daniel Herschlag

Professor of Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering; Stanford University

Daniel Herschlag, Ph.D.

Engineering. The overarching goal of his research is to understand the fundamental behavior of RNA and proteins and, in turn, how these behaviors determine and impact biology and how it has evolved. His lab takes an interdisciplinary approach, spanning and integrating physics, chemistry and biology, and employing a wide range of techniques.

Katrin Karbstein

Professor of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology; UF Scripps Biomedical Research

Katrin Karbstein, Ph.D.

Katrin Karbstein, Ph.D. is Professor of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology with UF Scripps Biomedical Research. Her research focuses on Mechanisms of Ribosome Assembly, Quality Control and the Molecular Basis for Ribosome-Associated Diseases (Ribosomopathies).

Jeannie Lee

Professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology; Massachusetts General Hospital and The Blavatnik Institute; Harvard Medical School

Jeannie Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Jeannie T Lee is The Philip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Endowed Chair in Molecular Biology, Professor of Genetics (and Pathology) at Harvard Medical School, and Vice Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Lee specializes in the study of epigenetic regulation by long noncoding RNAs and uses X-chromosome inactivation as a model system.

Roy Parker

Professor, Cech-Leinwand Endowed Chair of Biochemistry; University of Colorado Boulder

Roy Parker, Ph.D.

Roy Parker is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Executive Director, BioFrontiers Institute; Cech-Leinwand Endowed Chair of Biochemistry and Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He has a joint appointment with the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.

Anna Pyle

Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Chemistry; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Yale School of Medicine

Anna Marie Pyle, Ph.D.

Anna Marie Pyle is the Yale Sterling Professor in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Chemistry, and she is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Back to Top

Travel and Accommodations Information

Nearest airport: Palm Beach International Airport

Hotel Information:

Back to Top

Symposium Schedule

The symposium schedule is under construction. Check back soon.

Poster Session

Please indicate if you would like to supply a poster and abstract at the time of your registration. Posters will be displayed near the café area and viewable during coffee breaks and lunch.

Back to Top


Matthew Disney

Matthew Disney Ph.D.

Chair, Department Of Chemistry

Maurice S Swanson

Maurice S Swanson

Professor And Associate Program Director


The organizers would like to thank UF Health, the academic health center of the University of Florida, for sponsoring this symposium, our second since 2019. Since our inaugural conference, the Scripps Florida campus has joined the University of Florida, a partnership that has brought new strengths and resources to both institutions. Read more here.

Back to Top