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26/01 - "RNA: Biological Functions and Therapeutic Potential" Battistini Lecture by Dr. Marco Marcia, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

L’Istituto di Studi Avanzati e il Collegio Superiore organizzano una serie di lezioni – intitolate Battistini Lectures – per ricordare il professore Andrea Battistini, italianista di fama internazionale, professore di Letteratura Italiana fino al 2017 e primo Direttore del Collegio Superiore (1997-2000).

26/01/2021 dalle 17:30 alle 19:00

Dove Online su ZOOM (il link nella descrizione)

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Along with DNA and proteins, RNA is a key biomolecule. According to the central dogma of biology, RNA conveys genetic information stored in DNA to molecular machines that synthesize proteins. But RNA is also the key component of protein synthesis machineries, and it can catalyze a wide range of other biological reactions. Moreover, RNA can regulate cell growth and division, tissue differentiation, and organismal development. Finally, RNA can trigger immune responses to pathogenic infections. RNA is thus essential for life, and some argue it was at the origin of life itself! In this lecture, I will revise the different biological functions of RNA, exemplifying some with the help of atomic resolution molecular movies of RNA “in action”. I will then conclude by discussing ongoing efforts to exploit RNA in the clinics, either as a drug target or as a drug vector, including for vaccination, cancer and personalized gene therapies.

Link to ZOOM: Click here to access

Dr. Marco Marcia obtained his MSc degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Bologna University as a student of the Collegio Superiore. After a PhD in membrane protein biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics and a Postdoc in RNA biochemistry at Yale, he is now a Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) ( His research group investigates the molecular mechanisms of long non-coding RNAs, a newly discovered class of biomolecules playing key roles in gene expression regulation and implicated in human developmental diseases and cancer. His research is funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR), the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and viral hepatitis (ANRS), the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and the ARC Foundation for cancer research, besides EMBL.