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Michael Ehlers presents 2024 David Dreier Lecture: Primordial Origins of RNA Therapy

Wednesday, February 7, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Speaker Bio:

Michael Ehlers is Chief Scientific Officer and Venture Partner at Apple Tree Partners (ATP), a leading life sciences fund. Dr. Ehlers grew up in rural Nebraska and earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Caltech. He holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. At ATP, Dr. Ehlers directs the fund's science-driven investment strategy by identifying and evaluating new breakthrough science around the world and turning it into business plans, management teams, and drug discovery and development programs.


RNA is at the origins of life and intersects nearly all cellular physiology. Increasing knowledge of natural RNA processing mechanisms is allowing for a rapid expansion in the use of designer RNA in both experimental and clinical settings. Several forms of RNA-based and RNA-targeting therapeutics have recently entered clinical practice, including antisense oligonucleotides, small interfering RNAs, RNA binding small molecules, and linear messenger RNA. Basic research on ancient biology is inspiring new therapies that derive from or directly target RNA. In turn, the advent of RNA therapeutics has spawned numerous biotech companies. Here I will describe two specific examples of evolutionarily ancient biology that are being converted into the RNA-based therapies of the future.

Refreshments will be available starting at 3:30pm in the Chen Breezeway

For more information, please contact George Tolomiczenko by phone at 6263904866 or by email at [email protected].