5th Annual RNA Symposium 2018


'RNA in Biomedical and Translational Research'

March 15th (Workshops & Minisymposium)
March 16th (Main Program)

5th Annual RNA Symposium – March 15th & 16th, 2018 – Albany, NY

The 5th Annual RNA Symposium hosted at The RNA Institute brings together scientific experts, students and industry professionals who work on RNA in basic, applied and translational research projects.This year’s meeting theme ‘RNA in Biomedical and Translational Research’ highlights multidisciplinary work being done in and around RNA science. It provides a forum for faculty, students and industry members to present their findings and network. This hallmark RNA meeting has attracted Nobel Laureates, as well as National Academy Members, distinguished Howard Hughes Medical Institute Principal Investigators, renowned university professors, and medical doctors, among others from around the world.  The 2018 Symposium includes talks from David Bartel, Peter Dedon, Pascale Legault, Alan Lambowitz, and many others, as well as open presentation slots for faculty, postdocs, and students, which will be selected from submitted abstracts. Please join us for this exciting event!

Full PDF program here

Parking and transportation details here


New This Year: Peer Presentations (March 15, 2018)

This year, the 5th Annual RNA Symposium will offer, in addition to its workshops on March 15 and full-day program on March 16, a half-day of graduate student presentations and networking opportunities. With last year’s abstract submissions doubling from previous years, this year’s program includes five additional presentations for graduate students to showcase their exceptional research in RNA science. Selections were made from abstract submissions in consideration for a talk. The session for peer presentations and networking begins at 3pm on Thursday, March 15 and will take place in the D’Ambra Auditorium in the Life Sciences Research Building on the University at Albany-SUNY campus. The full schedule is provided below. Please join us for this inaugural event!


Registration Information

To register, click here. Credit card payments can be made directly on the registration portal. (If you are affiliated with a SUNY system campus or UAlbany, and not paying with State Funds, please contact Lisset Drislane to transfer funds.) Regular Pricing Graduate Students: $100.00 Post-Doctoral: $150.00 General Registration (all others): $200.00 Hilton Hotel reservations for the RNA Symposium 2018 Symposium sponsorship is available. Please contact the Institute at The RNA Institute at RNA@albany.edu to become a symposium sponsor. We generously offer customized sponsorship for all contributions to accommodate both the needs, expectations, and budgets of our sponsors.(Donations are also accepted and appreciated.)


Symposium Program

Full PDF program here

Parking and transportation details here

Main Program: Friday, March 16, 2018 7:30am – 7:00pm

Session 1 Title: Noncoding RNAs in Development and Disease
Chair: Cara Pager (PhD), University at Albany, SUNY
Dave Bartel, (PhD), National Academy of Sciences Member; HHMI Principal Investigator; Member of the Whitehead Institute; Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology “MicroRNAs and other regulatory RNAs”
Eda Yildirim (PhD), Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Duke University “Xist RNA: Linking X chromosome dosage to cancer”
Benoit Boivin (PhD), SUNY Polytechnic Institute “Protein tyrosine phosphatase1B is a regulator of microRNA-mediated gene silencing and cardiac hypertrophy”
Xavier Rambout (PhD), University of Rochester Medical Center “Transcriptional coactivator PGC-1alpha  contains a novel CBP80-binding motif that orchestrates efficient target gene expression”

Session 2 Title: RNA Modifications
Chair: Prashanth Rangan (PhD), University at Albany, SUNY
Peter Dedon (MD, PhD), Principal Investigator, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology; Infectious Disease IRG Member, Center for Environmental Health Sciences; Underwood-Prescott Professor of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology “The Central Dogma in the age of nucleic acid modifications: The epigenome and epitranscriptome control the “when” and “how much” of gene expression”
Christopher Holley (MD, PhD), American Board of Internal Medicine Certifications, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Duke University “SnoRNA-guided modifications on mRNA”
Dragony Fu (PhD), University of Rochester “TRMT1-catalyzed tRNA modifications modulate translation to ensure proper proteostasis and neurodevelopment”
Daniele Fabris (PhD), University at Albany, SUNY “Profiling ribonucleotide modifications at full-transcriptome level: a step toward MS-based epitranscriptomics”

Session 3 Title: RNA Structure Informs Function
Chair: Nilesh Banavali (PhD), Wadsworth Center, NYSDOH
Christine Dunham (PhD), Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Emory University Medical School and Burroughs Wellcome Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Disease “RNA-mediated mechanisms of translational control”
Pascale Legault (PhD), Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Université de Montréal “Molecular dynamics simulations and their applications to RNA engineering”
Wen Zhang (PhD), Massachusetts General Hospital “Deciphering non enzymatic RNA polymerization through crystallography”
Mariana Levi, Northeastern University “Exploring the transition state ensemble of subunit rotation in the ribosome” 

Session 4 Title: Biological Machines
Chair: Gabriele Fuchs (PhD), University at Albany, SUNY
Alan Lambowitz (PhD), National Academy of Sciences Member, Mr. and Mrs. A. Frank Smith Jr. Regents Chair in Molecular Biology, Professor of Molecular Biosciences, the University of Texas at Austin “Thermostable Group II Intron Reverse Transcriptases (TGIRTs) and their Applications in RNA-seq”
Kevin Weeks (PhD), Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill “Structure-based discovery of new functions in large RNAs”
Patrick Blatt, University at Albany, SUNY “Quality control of maternal mRNAs”
Olga Anczukow (PhD), The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine “Functional specificity of SR proteins in breast cancer initiation and metastasis” 

Poster Sessions: March 16, 2018 12:00 – 2:00pm Abstracts and the session presentation schedule will be made available online prior to the start of the symposium. The poster sessions coincide with the lunch break, which is an informal luncheon conducive to networking and discussion of the presenter’s research.

Peer Presentations Thursday, March 15, 2018 (Networking Session: 3:00 – 4:00pm)

Graduate Peer Presentations I: 4:00 – 5:00pm
Chair: Xiaolong Dong, University at Albany, SUNY
Ryan Schneider, University at Albany, SUNY & Wadsworth Center, NYDOH “Antimicrobial small molecule PKZ18 suppresses transcription of the T-box regulated operon glyQS in Bacillus subtilis
Hongying Sun, University of Rochester “RNA folding nearest neighbor parameter derivation and RNA secondary structure prediction”

Graduate Peer Presentations II: 5:00 – 6:00pm
Chair: Phensinee Haruehanroengra, University at Albany, SUNY
Gaston Bonenfant, University at Albany, SUNY “Zika virus subverts stress granules to promote viral gene expression and limit antiviral activities
Patrick Murphy, University at Albany, SUNY & Wadsworth Center, NYDOH “Formation of LTR-retrotransposon RNA foci perturbs asymmetric centrosome inheritance
Jennifer Hu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology “RNA-Seq for absolute quantification: Reprogramming the tRNA landscape during stress-induced bacterial persistence”


Workshops: Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Workshop registration is available through the registration portal – visit the link above to sign up. Workshop attendees will be notified directly by the workshop hosts regarding requirements for participation and additional details. Contact the workshop hosts directly with any questions or concerns.


Sample Analysis Following Gradient Ultracentrifugation (10:30am-2pm) Fractionation of biological material (i.e. ribosomes) is an important tool to analyze samples separated by a defined parameter. One such method is separation by sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation. In this workshop, we will go over different gradient examples and what to use them for, sample preparation, gradient preparation and fractionation using the Brandel/Teledyne-Isco system. Sponsored by: Brandel www.brandel.com Hosted by: Dr. Gabriele Fuchs gfuchs@albany.edu


Epitranscriptomics Workshop (8:30am-4:30pm) In this workshop we will learn how to prepare RNA samples to study its composition in the context of RNA chemical modifications using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In addition to hands on RNA sample preparation, the users will learn about LC-MS instrumentation, RNA modifications quantification as well as data processing. Hosted by: Dr. Qishan Lin qlin@albany.edu


microRNA Detection with DNA Nanoswitches (8:30am-4pm) In this full day workshop, users will learn how to detect various microRNAs from biological samples using programmable DNA nanoswitches. This technique provides a low-cost and simple alternative to qPCR and Northern blotting and can be performed in any lab. Sponsored by: Automated Laboratory Technologies www.automatedlabtech.com Hosted by: Dr. Ken Halvorsen khalvorsen@albany.edu


Multiscale Simulations of RNA (9am-5pm) This one-day workshop provides a combination of interactive discussions and hands-on workshops on computational simulations of RNA structure and dynamics spanning a wide range time and length-scales, from 2D and coarse-grained models all the way to explicit solvent, quantum chemical models. Comparative strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and connections to experimental data will be emphasized. For more details visit: rnasim2018.org Hosted by: Dr. Alan Chen and Dr. Paul Whitford


Symposium Organizing CommitteeAlan Chen, Bijan Dey, Jason Herschkowitz, Melinda Larsen (chair), and Prash Rangan  Check back soon for additional information. Details will be released as they become available. Please contact The RNA Institute directly with any questions or concerns at rna@albany.edu or 518-437-4443. Thank you for your interest in and continued support of the Institute.

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