Portrait of Melissa Moore, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Platform Research at Moderna Therapeutics

Attend the 2021 Katherine D. McCormick Distinguished Lecture

Register for the webinar “mRNA as Medicine” with Melissa Moore, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Platform Research at Moderna Therapeutics on International Women’s Day, Monday, March 8, 2021 at 11:00PM via Zoom.

A new class of drugs wherein cells are programmed with synthetic messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to make any desired protein (e.g., cytoplasmic, intraorganelle, membrane-bound, secreted) is an emergent technology with tremendous promise. The ability to simultaneously deliver multiple mRNAs species enables production of multiprotein complexes in their native state. mRNA-based vaccines produced by Moderna and others to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic have revolutionized the field of vaccine development.   Other mRNA therapeutics already in or soon to enter the clinic include pro-inflammatory cytokines as anticancer agents, an angiogenic factor for blood vessel regrowth in damaged heart muscle, and protein replacement therapies for treatment of metabolic diseases. Nonetheless, how to combat mRNA’s inherent chemical and biological lability, how to direct therapeutic mRNAs to desired cell types, and how to enable repeat dosing without eliciting adverse immune reactions remain challenges for the field. 

Dr. Moore will discuss recent progress at Moderna in overcoming these challenges, with particular emphasis on Moderna’s development of new technologies optimized for functional mRNA delivery.

Register is open for this distinguished lecture until March 5, 2021. If you have any questions, contact Kathleen Victor at kvictor@stanford.edu or 724-0239.

More about the Speaker, Melissa Moore, Ph.D.

In her role as Chief Scientific Officer, Platform Research, Dr. Melissa Moore is responsible for leading mRNA biology, delivery and computation science research at Moderna. She joined Moderna in 2016 from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), where she served as Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research and a long-time Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).  Dr. Moore was also a founding Co-Director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute (RTI) at UMMS, and was instrumental in creating the Massachusetts Therapeutic and Entrepreneurship Realization initiative (MassTERi), a faculty-led program intended to facilitate the translation of UMMS discoveries into drugs, products, technologies and companies.  Dr. Moore is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2017) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019).

Dr. Moore holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from MIT, where she specialized in enzymology under Prof. Christopher T. Walsh.  She began working on RNA metabolism during her postdoctoral training with Phillip A. Sharp at MIT.  During her 23 years as faculty member, first at Brandeis and then at UMMS, her research encompassed a broad array of topics related to the roles of RNA and RNA-protein (RNP) complexes in gene expression, and touched on many human diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and preeclampsia.

The McCormick Lectureship

Katharine Dexter McCormick, an early feminist and biologist, devoted much of her long life to the welfare of women.  On her death at age 92, she left a large bequest to the Stanford University School of Medicine with the hope that it would be used “in aid of women students attending the School of Medicine and more generally for the encouragement and assistance of women in pursuing the study of medicine, in teaching medicine and engaging in medical research.”  This Lectureship is one of the ways that Stanford fulfills the wishes of the McCormick bequest.

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