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RNA Evolution

Event organized by Genspace

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From dark matter of genomes to primordial life on earth, RNA is no longer the simple messenger to the genetic code. In this course, students will discover the vast and intricate world of RNA biology. Learn how to extract RNA from mouse organs and use reverse-transcriptase PCR to visualize how RNA can determine cellular diversity beyond the genetic blueprint.

The central dogma will be redefined through an introduction to an array of unique concepts, including RNA’s ability to store and replicate genetic information, reverse transcription, catalytic functions, and its expansive role as regulators of gene expression.

Starting with a brief history of RNA research, the course gives an overview to the many types and functions of RNA, beyond simple transcripts of the genetic code. The course will finish with a discussion of the RNA world theory, functional genomics, and RNA applications in diagnostics/therapeutics.

Mariko Kobayashi is a senior research associate at The Rockefeller University. The focus of her research is on RNA biology and deciphering the RNA code that determine neurological disease. She began her exploration in the world of RNA as a virologist at Columbia University and later New York University where she obtained her PhD. She has authored numerous publications in accredited scientific journals such as Genes and Development, Cell Host and Microbe and Nature Immunology. She is currently working on a venture to develop RNA targeted therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders.