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Biomedicine Seminar by Jørgen Kjems

Associate Professor Jørgen Kjems will present his research in the Biomedicine Seminar Series entitled "Synthesis and delivery of RNA therapeutics".

Info about event

Time

Wednesday 4 May 2022,  at 12:00 - 13:00

Location

1232-115, Store Anatomisk Auditorium and Zoom

Organizer

Biomedicine Seminar Series

Abstract:
RNA therapeutics come in many shapes and colours. Most recently we have experienced the triumph of mRNA vaccines in conquering the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, while many other RNA drugs are more slowly entering the clinical scene, including RNA interference (RNAi), antisense oligo nucleotides (AON), CRISPR technologies and aptamers. I will present some of our most promising RNA candidates we have developed and implemented for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. This includes a serum stable RNA aptamer that binds with high affinity to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with picomolar affinity, thereby preventing its interaction with the host receptor ACE2 leading to neutralization of the virus. We have also implemented the RNA aptamer into diagnostic test assays and proven their competitiveness to regular antibodies. In more complex screens we have selected libraries of >100,000 serum stable RNA aptamers towards blood proteins from healthy and diseased patients. Based on a differential screen and machine learning algorithms we have identified sets of aptamers that can diagnose cancer, viral infection (COVID), neurological and metabolic diseases. The biomarker proteins can subsequently be identified by affinity purification followed by MS. In other line of experiments we explore new delivery systems for siRNAs, circular RNA and mRNAs in animal disease models. To this end we have developed multivalent ligand displays on nanoscaffolds which enables specific recognition of patterned molecules on cells. We have also studied the natural homing capacity of extracelluar vesicles (EVs) and harnessed them to efficiently deliver gene medicine of choice to diseased cells.

About the speaker:
Jørgen Kjems is Professor at iNANO and at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. He currently heads The Centre for Cellular Signal Patterns (CellPAT) and is a pioneer in nucleic acid biology, nanotechnology and nanomedicine. He has published more than 300 research articles, including in top-level international journals such as Nature, Science and Cell. Jørgen received the Novo Nordisk Prize in 2018. 

Venue:
The seminar will be held at 12:00 pm in 1232-115, Store Anatomisk Auditorium
And at Zoom, for those of you who cannot attend in person: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/62465991084

The talk is 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of discussion, for a total of 1 hr.

Sign-up: 
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Please note the deadline for sandwich sign-up is Monday May 2nd.